WorldWideScience

Sample records for native understory plants

  1. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

  2. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats.

  3. Understory plant biomass dynamics of prescribed burned Pinus palustris stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.A. Gonzalez-Benecke; L.J. Samuelson; T.A. Stokes; W.P. Cropper Jr; T.A. Martin; K.H. Johnsen

    2015-01-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests are characterized by unusually high understory plant species diversity, but models describing understory ground cover biomass, and hence fuel load dynamics, are scarce for this fire-dependent ecosystem. Only coarse scale estimates, being restricted on accuracy and geographical extrapolation,...

  4. Restoring Native Forest Understory: The Influence of Ferns and Light in a Hawaiian Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Shallenberger

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is an increasingly important component of sustainable land management. We explore potential facilitative relationships for enhancing the cost-effectiveness of restoring native forest understory, focusing on two factors: (1 overstory shade and (2 possible facilitation by a fern (Dryopteris wallichiana, one of few native colonists of pasture in our montane Hawaiˈi study system. We planted 720 understory tree seedlings and over 4000 seeds of six species under six planting treatments: a full factorial combination of low, medium and high light, situating plantings in either the presence or absence of a mature fern. After three years, 75% of outplanted seedlings survived. Seedling survivorship was significantly higher in the presence of a fern (79% vs. 71% without a fern and in medium and low light conditions (81% vs. 64% in high light. Relative height was highest at low to medium light levels. After 2.2 years, 2.8% of the planted seeds germinated. We observed no significant differences in seed germination relative to light level or fern presence. Analyzing several approaches, we found nursery germination of seeds followed by outplanting ca. 20% less costly than direct seeding in the field. This study opens new questions about facilitation mechanisms that have the potential to increase the extent and effectiveness of restoration efforts.

  5. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community.

  6. Effects of widespread drought-induced aspen mortality on understory plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, William R L; Anderegg, Leander D L; Sherman, Clare; Karp, Daniel S

    2012-12-01

    Forest die-off around the world is expected to increase in coming decades as temperature increases due to climate change. Forest die-off will likely affect understory plant communities, which have substantial influence on regional biological diversity, ecosystem function, and land-atmosphere interactions, but how die-off alters these plant communities is largely unknown. We examined changes in understory plant communities following a widespread, drought-induced die-off of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western United States. We assessed shrub and herbaceous cover and volume in quadrats in 55 plots located across a wide range of levels of aspen mortality. We measured species richness and composition of herbaceous plant communities by recording species presence and absence in 12 sets of paired (1 healthy, 1 dying) aspen plots. Although understory composition in healthy and dying stands was heterogeneous across the landscape, shrub abundance, cover, and volume were higher and abundance of herbaceous species, cover, and volume were lower in dying aspen stands. Shrub cover and volume increased from 2009 to 2011 in dying stands, which suggests that shrub growth and expansion is ongoing. Species richness of herbs declined by 23% in dying stands. Composition of herbs differed significantly between dying and healthy stands. Richness of non-native species did not differ between stand types. The understory community in dying aspen stands was not similar to other shrub-dominated plant communities in the region and may constitute a novel community. Our results suggest that changes in understory plant communities as forests die off could be a significant indirect effect of climate change on biological diversity and forest communities.

  7. Providing habitat for native mammals through understory enhancement in forestry plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonetti, Javier A; Grez, Audrey A; Estades, Cristián F

    2013-10-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) expects forestry plantations to contribute to biodiversity conservation. A well-developed understory in forestry plantations might serve as a surrogate habitat for native species and mitigate the negative effect of plantations on species richness. We experimentally tested this hypothesis by removing the understory in Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) plantations in central Chile and assessing changes in species richness and abundance of medium-sized mammals. Frequency of occurrence of mammals, including kodkods (Leopardus guigna), culpeo foxes (Pseudalopex culpaeus), lesser grisons (Conepatus chinga), and Southern pudu deer (Pudu puda), was low in forest stands with little to no understory relative to stands with well-developed undergrowth vegetation. After removing the understory, their frequency of occurrence decreased significantly, whereas in control stands, where understory was not removed, their frequency did not change. This result strongly supports the idea that facilitating the development of undergrowth vegetation may turn forestry stands into secondary habitats as opposed to their containing no habitat for native mammals. This forestry practice could contribute to conservation of biological diversity as it pertains to CBD targets.

  8. Site quality influence over understory plant diversity in old-growth and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Gallo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelterwood forest harvesting and site qualities over understory plant species diversity and composition were compared among primary and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests.Area of study: Tierra del Fuego (Argentina, on three pure conditions (one and six year-old harvested, and primary without previous harvesting forests and three site qualities (high, medium and low.Material and Methods: Understory richness and cover (% were registered in five replicates of 1 hectare each per treatment. Taxonomic species were classified in categories (groups, origin and life forms. Two-way ANOVAs and multivariate analyses were conducted.Main results: Shelterwood harvesting and site quality significantly influenced understory cover and richness, which allow the introduction of native and exotic species and increasing of dicot and monocot covers. In dicots, monocots, exotics and total groups, higher richness and covers were related to time. Meanwhile, cover reached similar high values in all site qualities on dicot, native and total groups. On the other hand, monocot and exotic richness and cover remain similar in primary and recently harvested forests, and greatly increased in old harvested forests. Mosses and ferns were among the most sensitive groups.Research highlights: Impacts of shelterwood cut depend on site quality of the stands and time since harvesting occurs. For this, different site quality stands should received differential attention in the development of conservation strategies, as well as variations in the shelterwood implementation (as irregularity and patchiness should be considered to better promote understory plant species conservation inside managed areas.Key words: plant species conservation; years after harvesting; forest management; Tierra del Fuego.

  9. Site quality influence over understory plant diversity in old-growth and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallo, E. A.; Lencinas, M. V.; Martinez-Pastur, G. J.

    2013-05-01

    Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelter wood forest harvesting and site qualities over understory plant species diversity and composition were compared among primary and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests. Area of study: Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), on three pure conditions (one and six year-old harvested, and primary without previous harvesting forests) and three site qualities (high, medium and low). Material and Methods: Understory richness and cover (%) were registered in five replicates of 1 hectare each per treatment. Taxonomic species were classified in categories (groups, origin and life forms). Two-way ANOVAs and multivariate analyses were conducted. Main results: Shelterwood harvesting and site quality significantly influenced understory cover and richness, which allow the introduction of native and exotic species and increasing of dicot and monocot covers. In dicots, monocots, exotics and total groups, higher richness and covers were related to time. Meanwhile, cover reached similar high values in all site qualities on dicot, native and total groups. On the other hand, monocot and exotic richness and cover remain similar in primary and recently harvested forests, and greatly increased in old harvested forests. Mosses and ferns were among the most sensitive groups. Research highlights: Impacts of shelterwood cut depend on site quality of the stands and time since harvesting occurs. For this, different site quality stands should received differential attention in the development of conservation strategies, as well as variations in the shelterwood implementation (as irregularity and patchiness) should be considered to better promote understory plant species conservation inside managed areas. (Author) 45 refs.

  10. MBS Native Plant Communities

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer contains results of the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It includes polygons representing the highest quality native plant communities...

  11. Survey of understory plant diversity in mature bottomland hardwood tracts in the Mississippi Delta

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This research was designed to collect data on the understory plant composition of remnant bottomland hardwood forest tracts on accessible public lands in the LMAV...

  12. Contrasting xylem vessel constraints on hydraulic conductivity between native and non-native woody understory species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria S Smith

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined the hydraulic properties of 82 native and non-native woody species common to forests of Eastern North America, including several congeneric groups, representing a range of anatomical wood types. We observed smaller conduit diameters with greater frequency in non-native species, corresponding to lower calculated potential vulnerability to cavitation index. Non-native species exhibited higher vessel-grouping in metaxylem compared with native species, however, solitary vessels were more prevalent in secondary xylem. Higher frequency of solitary vessels in secondary xylem was related to a lower potential vulnerability index. We found no relationship between anatomical characteristics of xylem, origin of species and hydraulic conductivity, indicating that non-native species did not exhibit advantageous hydraulic efficiency over native species. Our results confer anatomical advantages for non-native species under the potential for cavitation due to freezing, perhaps permitting extended growing seasons.

  13. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veldman, Joseph W.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Brudvig, Lars A.

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  14. Characteristics of Light Availability Under Forest Canopies and Its Influences on Photosynthesis of Understory Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Han Y. H. Chen

    2003-01-01

    Available light under forest canopies includes two components, diffuse light and direct light (sunflecks), and is characterized as low and highly dynamic. Understory habitats under different forest types experience different light conditions. Sunflecks as a critical resource for understory plants have great importance on carbon gain of understory plants. Under the light-limiting habitat, understory plants exhibit a high light utilization efficiency attributed by a post-illumination CO2 uptake. Although different species have different photosynthetic responses, shade plants appear to be acclimated to respond more quickly and efficiently to sunflecks. This acclimation includes a faster induction, relatively lower rate of induction loss, lower photosynthetic compensation point, and higher water use efficiency. The process that shade plants harvest light energy is not well known. Studies of photosynthetic responses to sunflecks in natural conditions are rare. Little is known about constraints on sunfleck utilization, which may change seasonally. Extensive field studies in conjunction with laboratory investigations will be needed to further understand potential and actual constraints on sunfleck utilization. Most studies on photosynthetic responses to fluctuating light condition were done in the level of leaves. Fluctuating light utilization on the basis of whole plants and populations presents future challenges to ecologists.

  15. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

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    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  16. Influence of overstory composition on understory colonization by native species in plantations on a degraded tropical site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parotta, J.A. [USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico). International Inst. of Tropical Forestry

    1995-10-01

    Patterns of understory colonization by native and naturalized trees and shrubs were evaluated in 4.5-year-old plantations of three exotic tree species, Casuarina equisetifolia, Eucalyptus robusta, and Leucaena leucocephala, on a degraded coastal grassland site with reference to overstory composition and understory environmental conditions. 19 secondary forest species were established in the plantation understories, while no natural regeneration occurred in unplanted, though protected, control areas. The majority of these species (90%) and the total seedling population (97%) were zoochorous, indicating the importance of frugivorous bats and particularly birds as facilitators of secondary forest species colonization. Understory species richness and seedling densities were affected significantly by overstory composition, the most abundant regeneration occurring beneath Leucaena and least under Casuarina. The study results indicate that overstory species selection can exert a significant influence on subsequent patterns of colonization by secondary forest species and is an important consideration in the design of plantations for `catalyzing` succession on deforested, degraded sites. 40 refs, 4 figs, 3 tabs

  17. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

  18. Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Julia I.; Perakis, Steven; McKenzie, Sean C.; Lawrence, Caitlin E.; Puettmann, Klaus J.

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least 50% for most, but not all traits. Intraspecific variation in Δ15N, iWUE, leaf nitrogen content and root traits was high (47-70%) compared with most leaf traits and stem traits (13-38%).Δ15N varied primarily along gradients in abiotic conditions, while light and understory cover were relatively less important. iWUE was related primarily to light transmission, reflecting increases in photosynthesis relative to stomatal conductance. Leaf traits varied mainly as a function of light availability, with some reaction norms depending on understory cover. Plant height increased with understory cover, while stem specific density was related primarily to light. Resources, environmental conditions and understory cover did not contribute strongly to the observed variation in root traits.Gradients in resources, environmental conditions and competition all appear to control intraspecific variability in most traits to some extent. However, our results suggest that species cross-over (i.e., trait rank reversals) along the gradients measured here are generally not a concern.Intraspecific variability in understory plant species traits can be considerable. However, trait data collected under a narrow range of environmental conditions appears sufficient to establish species

  19. Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Pinno, Bradley D.; Ruth C. Errington

    2016-01-01

    Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant im...

  1. An impacts of logging operations on understory plants for the broadleaved/Korean pine mixed forest on Changbai Mountain, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Hui; SHAO Guo-fan; DAI Li-min; XU Dong; GU Hui-yan; WANG Fei

    2005-01-01

    Natural regeneration of tree species is important to the sustainability of native forest ecosystems in the temperate zone of northeast China. This study compared the densities and heights of seedlings and the diversities of shrubs and herbs on three sites of logging operations: log-skidding trails (LST), logging gaps (LG) and log landing sites (LLS). Sites undisturbed by logging gaps operations were sampled as control. The species, counts and height of tree seedlings and the species, counts, height and percentage coverage of shrubs and herbs were recorded in the field. The highest density and greatest height of regeneration trees were observed at LG and LST. The effects of LST on the densities of broadleaved trees were greater than those of coniferous trees. The difference in seedling density between LLS and control was significant (p=0.05). There was no significant difference in average seedling height for all the tree species between the disturbed sites and control. There were more shrub and herb species at the disturbed sites than at control. The diversity of understory plants at LG was the highest among all the sites. LST and LLS were different in shrub diversity, so were LLS and control. Both LG and LLS were different from control in herb diversity. Active measures need to be taken on the operation sites to protect the coniferous trees and the diversities of understory plants for sustaining the structure and composition of the broadleaved-Korean pine mixed forest on Changbai Mountain of China. Since different operation sites have different effects on different tree species, site-dependent actions must be taken to assure the regeneration of ecologically important tree species.

  2. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km(2), and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m(2) quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs (Eurybia divaricata, Maianthemum racemosum, Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  3. Resource-use strategies of native and invasive plants in Eastern North American forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heberling, J Mason; Fridley, Jason D

    2013-10-01

    Studies in disturbed, resource-rich environments often show that invasive plants are more productive than co-occurring natives, but with similar physiological tradeoffs. However, in resource-limited habitats, it is unclear whether native and invasive plants have similar metabolic constraints or if invasive plants are more productive per unit resource cost - that is, use resources more efficiently. Using a common garden to control for environment, we compared leaf physiological traits relating to resource investments, carbon returns, and resource-use efficiencies in 14 native and 18 nonnative invasive species of common genera found in Eastern North American (ENA) deciduous forest understories, where growth is constrained by light and nutrient limitation. Despite greater leaf construction and nitrogen costs, invaders exhibited greater instantaneous photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) and marginally greater photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency (PNUE). When integrated over leaf lifespan (LL), these differences were magnified. Differences in efficiency were driven by greater productivity per unit leaf investment, as invaders exhibited both greater photosynthetic abilities and longer LL. Our results indicate that woody understory invaders in ENA forests are not constrained to the same degree by leaf-based metabolic tradeoffs as the native understory flora. These strategy differences could be attributable to pre-adaptation in the native range, although other explanations are possible. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Growth responses of trees and understory plants to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical forest in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Di; Li, Peng; Fang, Wenjing; Xu, Jun; Luo, Yongkai; Yan, Zhengbing; Zhu, Biao; Wang, Jingjing; Xu, Xiaoniu; Fang, Jingyun

    2017-07-01

    Reactive nitrogen (N) increase in the biosphere has been a noteworthy aspect of global change, producing considerable ecological effects on the functioning and dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems. A number of observational studies have explored responses of plants to experimentally simulated N enrichment in boreal and temperate forests. Here we investigate how the dominant trees and different understory plants respond to experimental N enrichment in a subtropical forest in China. We conducted a 3.4-year N fertilization experiment in an old-aged subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in eastern China with three treatment levels applied to nine 20 m × 20 m plots and replicated in three blocks. We divided the plants into trees, saplings, shrubs (including tree seedlings), and ground-cover plants (ferns) according to the growth forms, and then measured the absolute and relative basal area increments of trees and saplings and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ferns. We further grouped individuals of the dominant tree species, Castanopsis eyrei, into three size classes to investigate their respective growth responses to the N fertilization. Our results showed that the plot-averaged absolute and relative growth rates of basal area and aboveground biomass of trees were not affected by N fertilization. Across the individuals of C. eyrei, the small trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) of 5-10 cm declined by 66.4 and 59.5 %, respectively, in N50 (50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and N100 fertilized plots (100 kg N ha-1 yr-1), while the growth of median and large trees with a DBH of > 10 cm did not significantly change with the N fertilization. The growth rate of small trees, saplings, and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ground-cover ferns decreased significantly in the N-fertilized plots. Our findings suggested that N might not be a limiting nutrient in this mature subtropical forest, and that the limitation of other nutrients in the forest

  5. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae) on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avalos, Gerardo; Hoell, Kelly; Gardner, Jocelyn; Anderson, Scott; Lee, Conor

    2006-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple) is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 x 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee) and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1,285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14.78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44) compared to tree (3.67 plants/m2, S.D. = 3.44) and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/m2, S.D. = 2.13). There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p or = 2 m). The results show a clear role of S. jambos as an aggressive, invasive species within the Municipal Forest. This invasion is enhanced by both the ecological characteristics of the species and the fragmentation of the forest by coffee farming around the site. Among a variety of management possibilities, an ecosystem-level approach of manually removing S. jambos over time while replanting native species appears to be the preferred strategy, given the intended continued use of the Municipal Forest as a source

  6. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

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    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  7. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

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    Marta Rueda

    forest amount is of primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction.

  8. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á

    2015-01-01

    primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction.

  9. Effects of thinning on plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs in a larch plantation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiaojun ZHU; Zhihong MAO; Caihong ZHANG; Qiaoling YAN; Zugen LIU

    2008-01-01

    The effects of thinning on plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs in a larch plantation were investigated. The relationships between plant species diversity and composition of understory herbs and light conditions were established. Twenty-five 1 m × 1 m plots and fifteen 13 m × 1 m transects were set up in unthinned and thinned stands, respectively. All the transects in the thinned stands were set across the thinned rows and unthinned rows, and each of them was divided into nine 1 m × 1 m sub-plots. The herb diversity and light condi-tions were observed in each plot and sub-plot. The results show that there was a significant difference in herb diversity between the thinned and unthinned stands. All biodiversity indices except for evenness index in the thinned stand were higher than those of the unthinned stand, i.e., the herb diversity increased after thinning. According to the changes in herb densities and whether one species could be found in a stand or not before and after thinning, all herb species were classed into three types: positive, neutral and negative species, which referred to a species newly appeared and having an obviously increased density after thinning, with no obvious changes in its appearance and density after thin-ning, and disappeared and having an obviously decreased density after thinning, respectively. Many new species were found in the thinned stand like Corydalis pallida, Prenanthes tatarinowii, Vicia unijuga and Sonchus brachyotus etc. However, most species found in both the thinned and unthinned stands were negative species. In all nine sub-plots, only 11 and 10 species were found in spring and in autumn respectively, accounting for 17.74% and 15.15% of all the species in the thinned stand, respectively. All biodiversity indices were the highest in the center sub-plots and most of them tended to reduce from middle to side sub-plots. There was a close correlation between most of the three types of species and

  10. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L; Collins, Cathy D; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2015-02-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on plant diversity. We address this contingency by evaluating how beta diversity (the spatial variability of species composition), an important component of regional biodiversity, is shaped by interactions between historical agriculture and prescribed fire, two prominent disturbances that are often coincident in terrestrial ecosystems. At three study locations spanning 450 km in the southeastern United States, we surveyed longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities across 232 remnant and post-agricultural sites with differing prescribed fire regimes. Our results demonstrate that agricultural legacies are a strong predictor of beta diversity, but the direction of this land-use effect differed among the three study locations. Further, although beta diversity increased with prescribed fire frequency at each study location, this effect was influenced by agricultural land-use history, such that positive fire effects were only documented among sites that lacked a history of agriculture at two of our three study locations. Our study not only highlights the role of historical agriculture in shaping beta diversity in a fire-maintained ecosystem but also illustrates how this effect can be contingent upon fire regime and geographic location. We suggest that interactions among historical and contemporary land-use activities may help to explain dissimilarities in plant communities among sites in human-dominated landscapes.

  11. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments.

  12. Horse grazing systems: understory biomass and plant biodiversity of a Pinus radiata stand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Rigueiro-Rodríguez

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Horse grazing systems may affect productivity and biodiversity of understory developed under Pinus radiata D. Don silvopastoral systems, while acting as a tool to reduce the risk of fire. This study compared continuous and rotational grazing systems effect upon biomass, fractions of stem, sprouts, leaves and woody parts of Ulex europaeus L. and alpha (Species Richness, Shannon-Wiener and beta (Jaccard and Magurran biodiversity for a period of four years in a P. radiata silvopastoral system. The experiment consisted of a randomized block design of two treatments (continuous and rotational grazing. Biomass, and species abundances were measured - biodiversity metrics were calculated based on these results for a two years of grazing and two years of post-grazing periods. Both continuous and rotational grazing systems were useful tools for reducing biomass and, therefore, fire risk. The rotational grazing system caused damage to the U. europaeus shrub, limiting its recovery once grazing was stopped. However, the more intensive grazing of U. europaeus plants under rotational had a positive effect on both alpha and beta biodiversity indexes due to the low capacity of food selection in the whole plot rather than continuous grazing systems. Biomass was not affected by the grazing system; however the rotational grazing system is more appropriate to reduce U. europaeus biomass and therefore forest fire risk at a long term and to enhance pasture biodiversity than the continuous grazing system.

  13. Native bees and plant pollination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  14. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  15. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars A Brudvig

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities, and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes. Our study demonstrates

  16. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brudvig, Lars A; Orrock, John L; Damschen, Ellen I; Collins, Cathy D; Hahn, Philip G; Mattingly, W Brett; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  17. Understory plant diversity assessment of Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis plantations in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu, J. X.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability is a key objective for managers of both natural forests and plantations, and biodiversity assessments are important tools to improve conservation of endangered species. Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis is a native Chinese tree species used in plantations. This study evaluated differences in understory diversity among Szemao pine plantations (SP and other local current vegetation types: secondary evergreen forests (SE and abandoned farmlands (AF in Yunnan Province. Sampling was performed at three elevation ranges, where species richness, species cover, and environmental variables in the herb and shrub layers were measured. We found that indexes for average richness and Shannon–Wiener diversity were higher in SE than in SP, which were in turn higher than in AF, while the index for evenness was higher in SP. These indexes increased with elevation in SP and AF, but were higher at low and medium elevations in SE. Inclusion of environmental factors highlighted elevation differences, with water content (at herb layer and soil type (at shrub layer being the most significant variables. In conclusion, plantations of Szemao pine negatively affect understory diversity in Yunnan, and furthermore, only a few rare or threatened species could be found in the plantations. Nature reserves and transplanting could protect threatened species if established before plantations.La sostenibilidad es un objetivo clave para la gestión tanto de bosques naturales como de plantaciones, mientras que los estudios sobre biodiversidad constituyen herramientas muy útiles para mejorar la conservación de especies amenazadas. El pino Szemao (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis es un árbol nativo de China que se usa en plantaciones. Este estudio evalúa la diversidad del sotobosque en plantaciones de pino Szemao (SP y otros tipos de vegetación local, como bosques secundarios perennifolios (SE y tierras de cultivo abandonadas (AF, en la provincia de

  18. Coevolution between invasive and native plants driven by chemical competition and soil biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lankau, Richard A

    2012-07-10

    Although reciprocal evolutionary responses between interacting species are a driving force behind the diversity of life, pairwise coevolution between plant competitors has received less attention than other species interactions and has been considered relatively less important in explaining ecological patterns. However, the success of species transported across biogeographic boundaries suggests a stronger role for evolutionary relationships in shaping plant interactions. Alliaria petiolata is a Eurasian species that has invaded North American forest understories, where it competes with native understory species in part by producing compounds that directly and indirectly slow the growth of competing species. Here I show that populations of A. petiolata from areas with a greater density of interspecific competitors invest more in a toxic allelochemical under common conditions. Furthermore, populations of a native competitor from areas with highly toxic invaders are more tolerant to competition from the invader, suggesting coevolutionary dynamics between the species. Field reciprocal transplants confirmed that native populations more tolerant to the invader had higher fitness when the invader was common, but these traits came at a cost when the invader was rare. Exotic species are often detrimentally dominant in their new range due to their evolutionary novelty; however, the development of new coevolutionary relationships may act to integrate exotic species into native communities.

  19. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C S McIntosh

    Full Text Available Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR of the forest floor microbial community environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide

  20. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  1. Plant competition, facilitation, and other overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imm, Donald; Blake, John I

    2006-07-01

    The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem - Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Shibu Jose, Eric J. Jokela, and Deborah L. Miller, (eds.) Springer Series on Environmental Management. Springer Science and Business Media publisher. Box 10.2 Pp 330-333. An insert on overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

  2. Interactions between plant size and canopy openness influence vital rates and life-history tradeoffs in two neotropical understory herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerband, Andrea C; Horvitz, Carol C

    2015-08-01

    • For tropical forest understory plants, the ability to grow, survive, and reproduce is limited by the availability of light. The extent to which reproduction incurs a survival or growth cost may change with light availability, plant size, and adaptation to shade, and may vary among similar species.• We estimated size-specific rates of growth, survival, and reproduction (vital rates), for two neotropical understory herbs (order Zingiberales) in a premontane tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. During three annual censuses we monitored 1278 plants, measuring leaf area, number of inflorescences, and canopy openness. We fit regression models of all vital rates and evaluated them over a range of light levels. The best fitting models were selected using Akaike's Information Criterion.• All vital rates were significantly influenced by size in both species, but not always by light. Increasing light resulted in higher growth and a higher probability of reproduction in both species, but lower survival in one species. Both species grew at small sizes but shrank at larger sizes. The size at which shrinkage began differed among species and light environments. Vital rates of large individuals were more sensitive to changes in light than small individuals.• Increasing light does not always positively influence vital rates; the extent to which light affects vital rates depends on plant size. Differences among species in their abilities to thrive under different light conditions and thus occupy distinct niches may contribute to the maintenance of species diversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  3. Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.

    2017-01-01

    Large areas of tropical forest have been cleared and planted with exotic grass species for use as cattle pasture. These often remain persistent grasslands after grazer removal, which is problematic for restoring native forest communities. It is often hoped that remnant and/or planted trees can jump-start forest succession; however, there is little mechanistic information on how different canopy species affect community trajectories. To investigate this, I surveyed understory communities, exotic grass biomass, standing litter pools, and soil properties under two dominant canopy trees—Metrosideros polymorpha (‘ōhi‘a) and Acacia koa (koa)—in recovering Hawaiian forests. I then used structural equation models (SEMs) to elucidate direct and indirect effects of trees on native understory. Native understory communities developed under ‘ōhi‘a, which had larger standing litter pools, lower soil nitrogen, and lower exotic grass biomass than koa. This pattern was variable, potentially due to historical site differences and/or distance to intact forest. Koa, in contrast, showed little understory development. Instead, data suggest that increased soil nitrogen under koa leads to high grass biomass that stalls native recruitment. SEMs suggested that indirect effects of trees via litter and soils were as or more important than direct effects for determining native cover. It is suggested that diverse plantings which incorporate species that have high carbon to nitrogen ratios may help ameliorate the negative indirect effects of koa on natural understory regeneration.

  4. Asynchronous responses of soil microbial community and understory plant community to simulated nitrogen deposition in a subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Liu, Wenfei; Fan, Houbao; Huang, Guomin; Wan, Songze; Yuan, Yinghong; Ji, Chunfeng

    2013-10-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition greatly affects ecosystem processes and properties. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the responses of both the above- and belowground communities to N deposition. Here, we investigated the effects of 8 years of simulated N deposition on soil microbial communities and plant diversity in a subtropical forest. The quantities of experimental N added (g of N m(-2) year(-1)) and treatment codes were 0 (N0, control), 6 (N1), 12 (N2), and 24 (N3). Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis was used to characterize the soil microbial community while plant diversity and coverage were determined in the permanent field plots. Microbial abundance was reduced by the N3 treatment, and plant species richness and coverage were reduced by both N2 and N3 treatments. Declines in plant species richness were associated with decreased abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increased bacterial stress index, and reduced soil pH. The plasticity of soil microbial community would be more related to the different responses among treatments when compared with plant community. These results indicate that long-term N deposition has greater effects on the understory plant community than on the soil microbial community and different conservation strategies should be considered.

  5. Invasive knotweed affects native plants through allelopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murrell, Craig; Gerber, Esther; Krebs, Christine; Parepa, Madalin; Schaffner, Urs; Bossdorf, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that many plant invaders interfere with native plants through allelopathy. This allelopathic interference may be a key mechanism of plant invasiveness. One of the most aggressive current plant invaders is the clonal knotweed hybrid Fallopia × bohemica, which often forms monocultures in its introduced range. Preliminary results from laboratory studies suggest that allelopathy could play a role in this invasion. We grew experimental communities of European plants together with F. × bohemica. We used activated carbon to test for allelopathic effects, and we combined this with single or repeated removal of Fallopia shoots to examine how mechanical control can reduce the species' impact. Addition of activated carbon to the soil significantly reduced the suppressive effect of undamaged F. × bohemica on native forbs. The magnitude of this effect was similar to that of regular cutting of Fallopia shoots. Regular cutting of Fallopia shoots efficiently inhibited the growth of rhizomes, together with their apparent allelopathic effects. The ecological impact of F. × bohemica on native forbs is not just a result of competition for shared resources, but it also appears to have a large allelopathic component. Still, regular mechnical control successfully eliminated allelopathic effects. Therefore, allelopathy will create an additional challenge to knotweed management and ecological restoration only if the allelochemicals are found to persist in the soil. More research is needed to examine the mechanisms underlying Fallopia allelopathy, and the long-term effects of soil residues.

  6. Non-native plant invasions in managed and protected ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stoker, J.M.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We examined patterns of non-native plant diversity in protected and managed ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range. Cheesman Lake, a protected landscape, and Turkey Creek, a managed landscape, appear to have had similar natural disturbance histories prior to European settlement and fire protection during the last century. However, Turkey Creek has experienced logging, grazing, prescribed burning, and recreation since the late 1800s, while Cheesman Lake has not. Using the modified-Whittaker plot design to sample understory species richness and cover, we collected data for 30 0.1 ha plots in each landscape. Topographic position greatly influenced results, while management history did not. At both Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek, low/riparian plots had highest native and non-native species richness and cover; upland plots (especially east/west-facing, south-facing and flat, high plots) had the lowest. However, there were no significant differences between Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek for native species richness, native species cover, non-native species richness, or non-native species cover for any topographic category. In general, non-native species richness and cover were highly positively correlated with native species richness and/or cover (among other variables). In total, 16 non-native species were recorded at Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek; none of the 16 non-native species were more common at one site than another. These findings suggest that: (1) areas that are high in native species diversity also contain more non-native species; (2) both protected and managed areas can be invaded by non-native plant species, and at similar intensities; and (3) logging, grazing, and other similar disturbances may have less of an impact on non-native species establishment and growth than topographic position (i.e., in lowland and riparian zones versus upland zones).

  7. Mixing effects of understory plant litter on decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter in two plantations in Northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Zhao

    Full Text Available Understory vegetation plays a crucial role in carbon and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems; however, it is not clear how understory species affect tree litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics. In this study, we examined the impacts of understory litter on the decomposition and nutrient release of tree litter both in a pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica and a poplar (Populus × xiaozhuanica plantation in Northeast China. Leaf litter of tree species, and senesced aboveground materials from two dominant understory species, Artemisia scoparia and Setaria viridis in the pine stand and Elymus villifer and A. sieversiana in the poplar stand, were collected. Mass loss and N and P fluxes of single-species litter and three-species mixtures in each of the two forests were quantified. Data from single-species litterbags were used to generate predicted mass loss and N and P fluxes for the mixed-species litterbags. In the mixture from the pine stand, the observed mass loss and N release did not differ from the predicted value, whereas the observed P release was greater than the predicted value. However, the presence of understory litter decelerated the mass loss and did not affect N and P releases from the pine litter. In the poplar stand, litter mixture presented a positive non-additive effect on litter mass loss and P release, but an addition effect on N release. The presence of understory species accelerated only N release of poplar litter. Moreover, the responses of mass loss and N and P releases of understory litter in the mixtures varied with species in both pine and poplar plantations. Our results suggest that the effects of understory species on tree litter decomposition vary with tree species, and also highlight the importance of understory species in litter decomposition and nutrient cycles in forest ecosystems.

  8. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Avalos

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L. Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 X 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1 285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14,78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44 compared to tree (3.67 plants/ m2, S.D. = 3.44 and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/ m2, S.D. = 2.13. There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p La fragmentación del hábitat, junto con otros disturbios antropogénicos, aumentan la vulnerabilidad de los ambientes nativos a la invasión por especies exóticas, agresivas y sin controles ecológicos. Syzigium jambos (L. Alston (Myrtaceae, Manzana Rosa es una invasora importante que todavía está extendiendose en Hawaii, Las Antillas, Centro y Suramérica. Este estudio examina los efectos de S. jambos sobre la diversidad de plantas del sotobosque en un Bosque Húmedo Premontano de 25 ha en

  9. Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minden, V.; Jacobi, J.D.; Porembski, S.; Boehmer, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m. a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770mm yr-1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum-domimted herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using nonparametric H-tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. ?? 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

  10. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 2. Plant competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas are endangered plant communities that have remarkably high plant species diversity. To investigate factors underlying this richness, we experimentally investigated the potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant competition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block design. We used four plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna, under two light and five AMF treatments. Plants were grown four per pot under two competition treatments (either one or four species per pot) for 20 weeks. Using ANOVA, we found that all species showed significant treatment effects on total and shoot biomass, primarily due to differences in competition and light, less to AMF. However, effects were the opposite of predictions. Putatively mycorrhizal plants showed neutral to negative responses to AMF, and a nonmycorrhizal species outcompeted AMF species in infected pots. We concluded that our experimental setup of small pots, sandy soil, and long growing period had induced parasitism by the AMF on susceptible hosts. This unexpected result is consistent with field data from the sand savanna, and may help explain how nonmycorrhizal plants can compete successfully with AMF species in established, species-rich communities.

  11. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  12. Understory flora and community physiognomy of planted forests in the degraded purple soil ecosystem, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUZhan-yuan; YUEYong-jie; GUOJian-fen; CHENGuang-shui; XIEJin-sheng; HEZong-ming; YANGYu-sheng

    2005-01-01

    The flora and community physiognomy of degraded plantation ecosystems on purple soil were investigated in Ninghua County of Fujian Province, China to understand the relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem processes.. Four different restoration communities (labeled as ecological restoration treatment I, II, Ill and IV) were selected by space-time replacement method according to the erosion intensity in degraded purple soil ecosystem. The results showed that there were totally 86 plant species belonging to 78 genera and 43 families in the degraded purple soil ecosystem. Of the 15 types of distribution area in spermatophyte genus, 12 types were found in the purple soil ecosystem. Along restoration gradient from low to high, plant growth type and life form spectra became abundant more and more, and the spermatophyte genera for each distribution area type and genera numbers for different foliage characters increased as well. It is concluded that the plant flora and physiognomy in ecological restoration process become more complex and diverse, indicating that the forest ecosystem on purple soil tends to be more stable.

  13. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica N Spotswood

    Full Text Available Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species, temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery.

  14. Disentangling fragmentation effects on herbivory in understory plants of longleaf pine savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levey, Douglas J; Caughlin, T Trevor; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Evans, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation affects species and their interactions through intertwined mechanisms that include changes to fragment area, shape, connectivity and distance to edge. Disentangling these pathways is a fundamental challenge of landscape ecology and will help identify ecological processes important for management of rare species or restoration of fragmented habitats. In a landscape experiment that manipulated connectivity, fragment shape, and distance to edge while holding fragment area constant, we examined how fragmentation impacts herbivory and growth of nine plant species in longleaf pine savanna. Probability of herbivory in open habitat was strongly dependent on proximity to forest edge for every species, increasing with distance to edge in six species (primarily grasses and annual forbs) and decreasing in three species (perennial forbs and a shrub). In the two species of perennial forbs, these edge effects were dependent on fragment shape; herbivory strongly decreased with distance to edge in fragments of two shapes, but not in a third shape. For most species, however, probability of herbivory was unrelated to connectivity or fragment shape. Growth was generally determined more strongly by leaf herbivory than by distance to edge, fragment shape, or connectivity. Taken together, these results demonstrate consistently strong edge effects on herbivory, one of the most important biotic factors determining plant growth and demography. Our results contrast with the generally inconsistent results of observational studies, likely because our experimental approach enabled us to tease apart landscape processes that are typically confounded.

  15. Native Plants and Seeds, Oh My! Fifth Graders Explore an Unfamiliar Subject While Learning Plant Basics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauley, Lauren; Weege, Kendra; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2016-01-01

    Native plants are not typically the kinds of plants that are used in elementary classroom studies of plant biology. More commonly, students sprout beans or investigate with fast plants. At the time the authors started their plant unit (November), the school-yard garden had an abundance of native plants that had just started seeding, including…

  16. Estimating aboveground biomass of broadleaved woody plants in the understory of Florida Keys pine forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sah, J.P.; Ross, M.S.; Koptur, S.; Snyder, J.R.

    2004-01-01

    Species-specific allometric equations that provide estimates of biomass from measured plant attributes are currently unavailable for shrubs common to South Florida pine rocklands, where fire plays an important part in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems. We developed equations to estimate total aboveground biomass and fine fuel of 10 common hardwood species in the shrub layer of pine forests of the lower Florida Keys. Many equations that related biomass categories to crown area and height were significant (p aboveground shrub biomass and shrub fine fuel increased with time since last fire, but the relationships were non-linear. The relative proportion of biomass constituted by the major species also varied with stand age. Estimates based on mixed-species regressions differed slightly from estimates based on species-specific models, but the former could provide useful approximations in similar forests where species-specific regressions are not yet available. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Species composition and correlation of understory woody plants in Chinese fir plantation in the lower subtropical area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KANG Bing; LIU Shirong; CAI Daoxiong; WEN Yuanguang

    2006-01-01

    There are 71 species in the shrub layer of the Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation after natural succession.The species richness and diversity have increased with slight anthropogenic disturbance.The status and function of tmderstory woody species were judged by the analysis of the important value (IV).X2 statistics and r test were used for testing the significance of interspecific association and correlation among 25 main understory woody plants selected from the woody population.The results clearly showed their interspecific relationships and their differences in resource utilization.Species-pairs of positive association were in the majority.Most species were accommodated in the shady habitat.There was a positive correlation between the IV of the species and the interspecific association.The higher the IV of the species,the closer and more significant was the interspecific association.Based on analytical results of interspecitic association and correlation,25 woody plants in the shrub layer could be divided into four ecological species groups:I.Ficus hispida +Antidesma bunius+Mallotus barbatus+Ficus cunia+Saurauia tristyla+Mallotus philippinensis+Maesa japonica +Ficus hirta+Alchornea rugosa+Ficus fulva+Mallotus apelta;II.Cudrania tricuspidata+Schefflera octopylla;III.Cunninghamia lanceolata+Clerodendron cytophyllum +Millettia semicastrata+Randia spinosa+Litsea cubeba +Litsea pungens;IV.Ardisia japonica+Psychotria rubra +Vitex quinata+Cephalanthus occidentalis+ Pithecellobium lucidum+Mycetia sinensis.If species group III or II is the advantaged species in the shrub layer,the community would change from a coniferous forest to a sparse evergreen broad-leaved forest.For group IV,the community would be relatively stable.For group I,the coniferous forest would be mixed with coniferous-broad leaved forest.The classification of ecological species groups would provide a theoretical basis on judging its ecological function,adjusting the stand structure of the plantation and

  18. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  19. Novel weapons testing: are invasive plants more chemically defended than native plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Eric M; Parker, John D

    2010-05-03

    Exotic species have been hypothesized to successfully invade new habitats by virtue of possessing novel biochemistry that repels native enemies. Despite the pivotal long-term consequences of invasion for native food-webs, to date there are no experimental studies examining directly whether exotic plants are any more or less biochemically deterrent than native plants to native herbivores. In a direct test of this hypothesis using herbivore feeding assays with chemical extracts from 19 invasive plants and 21 co-occurring native plants, we show that invasive plant biochemistry is no more deterrent (on average) to a native generalist herbivore than extracts from native plants. There was no relationship between extract deterrence and length of time since introduction, suggesting that time has not mitigated putative biochemical novelty. Moreover, the least deterrent plant extracts were from the most abundant species in the field, a pattern that held for both native and exotic plants. Analysis of chemical deterrence in context with morphological defenses and growth-related traits showed that native and exotic plants had similar trade-offs among traits. Overall, our results suggest that particular invasive species may possess deterrent secondary chemistry, but it does not appear to be a general pattern resulting from evolutionary mismatches between exotic plants and native herbivores. Thus, fundamentally similar processes may promote the ecological success of both native and exotic species.

  20. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.T.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Thro

  1. Glyphosate and Dicamba Inhibit Flowering of Native Willamette Valley Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Successful flowering is essential for reproduction of native plants and production of food for herbivores. It is also an important alternative endpoint for assessment of ecological risks from chemical stressors such as herbicides. We evaluated flowering phenology after herbicide...

  2. Glyphosate and Dicamba Inhibit Flowering of Native Willamette Valley Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Successful flowering is essential for reproduction of native plants and production of food for herbivores. It is also an important alternative endpoint for assessment of ecological risks from chemical stressors such as herbicides. We evaluated flowering phenology after herbicide...

  3. Competitive effects of non-native plants are lowest in native plant communities that are most vulnerable to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.Stephen Brewer; W. Chase Bailey

    2014-01-01

    Despite widespread acknowledgment that disturbance favors invasion, a hypothesis that has received little attention is whether non-native invaders have greater competitive effects on native plants in undisturbed habitats than in disturbed habitats. This hypothesis derives from the assumption that competitive interactions are more persistent in habitats that have not...

  4. Plant mutualisms with rhizosphere microbiota in introduced versus native ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shelby, Natasha; Duncan, Richard P.; van der Putten, Wim H.; McGinn, Kevin J.; Weser, Carolin; Hulme, Philip E.

    2016-01-01

    * The performance of introduced plants can be limited by the availability of soil mutualists outside their native range, but how interactions with mutualists differ between ranges is largely unknown. If mutualists are absent, incompatible or parasitic, plants may compensate by investing more in root

  5. Native Plant Species Suitable for Ecological Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-10

    Center The Dalles Research Facility Dallesport, WA Eau Galle Laboratory Spring Valley, WI Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystems Research Facility Lew isville, TX...of Agriculture . PLANTS data base. http://plants.usda.gov/  U.S. Department of Agriculture , Forest Service. Fire Effects Information System. http

  6. Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swift Simon

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plants have long been investigated as a source of antibiotics and other bioactives for the treatment of human disease. New Zealand contains a diverse and unique flora, however, few of its endemic plants have been used to treat tuberculosis. One plant, Laurelia novae-zelandiae, was reportedly used by indigenous Maori for the treatment of tubercular lesions. Methods Laurelia novae-zelandiae and 44 other native plants were tested for direct anti-bacterial activity. Plants were extracted with different solvents and extracts screened for inhibition of the surrogate species, Mycobacterium smegmatis. Active plant samples were then tested for bacteriostatic activity towards M. tuberculosis and other clinically-important species. Results Extracts of six native plants were active against M. smegmatis. Many of these were also inhibitory towards M. tuberculosis including Laurelia novae-zelandiae (Pukatea. M. excelsa (Pohutukawa was the only plant extract tested that was active against Staphylococcus aureus. Conclusions Our data provide support for the traditional use of Pukatea in treating tuberculosis. In addition, our analyses indicate that other native plant species possess antibiotic activity.

  7. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  8. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  9. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan D Haffele

    Full Text Available Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5 mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC. The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32 plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years.

  10. A Comparison of Invasive Acer platanoides and Native A. saccharum First-Year Seedlings: Growth, Biomass Distribution and the Influence of Ecological Factors in a Forest Understory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Brisson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive shade tolerant species can have profound and long-lasting detrimental effects even on previously undisturbed forests. In North American forests, the invasive Acer platanoides is capable of dominating the understory where it could displace the native Acer saccharum. To understand the relative importance of various ecological factors in a forest understory on their establishment, we transplanted A. platanoides and A. saccharum seedlings in an urban sugar maple forest understory and their growth and survival were compared over a growing season. Seedlings did not differ in height, but biomass growth and assimilation rates were twice as high for the invasive species. Ecological variables accounted for only 23–24% of variation in growth. Seedlings of A. platanoides appeared to capture light more efficiently, with over 150% greater foliage biomass and surface area. A. saccharum seedlings were more negatively affected by herbivory. The more robust A. platanoides seedlings presented characteristics that could allow them to better grow and survive in shaded understories than their native congeners.

  11. Native Cerrado plants and possibilities in phytoremediation

    OpenAIRE

    dos Santos, Cristiano Figueiredo; Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul; Novak, Elaine

    2013-01-01

    Some activities developed by humans can release contaminants which are hazardous to human health and other life forms such as animals and plants. Thus, some process can remedy undesirable situations and if this process occurs through a biological agent, it is called bioremediation. The bioremediation that occurs through vegetal community is known as phytoremediation and may be sub classified into several others categories. In Brazil the research on phytoremediation are mainly focused on herbi...

  12. Public Lakes, Private Lakeshore: Modeling Protection of Native Aquatic Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Susan A.; Fulton, David C.

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey ( n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property.

  13. Public lakes, private lakeshore: modeling protection of native aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Susan A; Fulton, David C

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey (n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property.

  14. Determination of native woody landscape plants in Bursa and Uludag

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PRECIOUS

    2009-11-02

    Nov 2, 2009 ... Around Bursa and Uludag is a wide range of native woody plants of which are commonly used for landscape planning ... such as wet or dry, sun or shade, high or low fertility soils ... role on rural and urban landscape planning.

  15. Using organic fertilizers in forest and native plant nurseries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas D. Landis; R. Kasten Dumroese

    2012-01-01

    Since World War II, synthetic fertilizers have been used almost exclusively to grow forest and native plant nursery crops because they are quickly soluble and readily taken up by crops, producing the rapid growth rates that are necessary in nursery culture. In recent years, however, a wide variety of new organic fertilizers have become available. We divided these...

  16. Do invasive alien plants benefit more from global environmental change than native plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanjie; Oduor, Ayub M O; Zhang, Zhen; Manea, Anthony; Tooth, Ifeanna M; Leishman, Michelle R; Xu, Xingliang; van Kleunen, Mark

    2017-08-01

    Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions and can cause large economic damage. Plant invasions have been predicted to further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Numerous case studies have compared the performance of invasive and native plant species in response to global environmental change components (i.e. changes in mean levels of precipitation, temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration or nitrogen deposition). Individually, these studies usually involve low numbers of species and therefore the results cannot be generalized. Therefore, we performed a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis to assess whether there is a general pattern of differences in invasive and native plant performance under each component of global environmental change. We compiled a database of studies that reported performance measures for 74 invasive alien plant species and 117 native plant species in response to one of the above-mentioned global environmental change components. We found that elevated temperature and CO2 enrichment increased the performance of invasive alien plants more strongly than was the case for native plants. Invasive alien plants tended to also have a slightly stronger positive response to increased N deposition and increased precipitation than native plants, but these differences were not significant (N deposition: P = 0.051; increased precipitation: P = 0.679). Invasive alien plants tended to have a slightly stronger negative response to decreased precipitation than native plants, although this difference was also not significant (P = 0.060). So while drought could potentially reduce plant invasion, increases in the four other components of global environmental change considered, particularly global warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment, may further increase the spread of invasive plants in the future. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced...... exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...... in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...

  18. Phytophagous insects on native and non-native host plants: combining the community approach and the biogeographical approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Meijer

    Full Text Available During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native. Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis.

  19. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  20. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  1. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  2. Direct and Indirect Influence of Non-Native Neighbours on Pollination and Fruit Production of a Native Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Montero-Castaño

    Full Text Available Entomophilous non-native plants can directly affect the pollination and reproductive success of native plant species and also indirectly, by altering the composition and abundance of floral resources in the invaded community. Separating direct from indirect effects is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying the impacts of non-native species on recipient communities.Our aims are: (a to explore both the direct effect of the non-native Hedysarum coronarium and its indirect effect, mediated by the alteration of floral diversity, on the pollinator visitation rate and fructification of the native Leopoldia comosa and (b to distinguish whether the effects of the non-native species were due to its floral display or to its vegetative interactions.We conducted field observations within a flower removal experimental setup (i.e. non-native species present, absent and with its inflorescences removed at the neighbourhood scale.Our study illustrates the complexity of mechanisms involved in the impacts of non-native species on native species. Overall, Hedysarum increased pollinator visitation rates to Leopoldia target plants as a result of direct and indirect effects acting in the same direction. Due to its floral display, Hedysarum exerted a direct magnet effect attracting visits to native target plants, especially those made by the honeybee. Indirectly, Hedysarum also increased the visitation rate of native target plants. Due to the competition for resources mediated by its vegetative parts, it decreased floral diversity in the neighbourhoods, which was negatively related to the visitation rate to native target plants. Hedysarum overall also increased the fructification of Leopoldia target plants, even though such an increase was the result of other indirect effects compensating for the observed negative indirect effect mediated by the decrease of floral diversity.

  3. Native plants for erosion control in urban river slopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Alvarado

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical and structural erosion of soils is produced by the loss of the vegetal cover and the action of rain on unprotected surfaces. Raindrop impact, transport and sediment deposition leads to landslides and slope instability and soil loss. In Costa Rica, water bodies have been negatively impacted by urban development and both water resources and soils have become more vulnerable. This is the case of the Pirro river micro watershed where riverbed vegetation has been replaced by constructions producing erosion problems in its slopes. In order to evaluate how native plants favor sediment control and prevent this sediment from been deposited in the river, eight experimental plots were installed. Four treatments were established: A (Costus pulverulentus Presl, B (Heliconia tortuosa (Griggs Standl., C (Vetiveria zizanioides (L. Nash and D (control. Sediments were collected weekly during the rainy and transitional seasons. A clear relation between rainfall intensity and sediment production was determined, particularly for intensities higher than 50 mm h-1. Significant differences were also determined between the treatments and the efficiency order was B >A > C >D, with the native plants being the most efficient in terms of sediment control. The use of native plants is recommended for the management and rehabilitation of slopes near urban rivers due to their ecological value and their capability for sediment control.

  4. An invasive plant alters pollinator-mediated phenotypic selection on a native congener.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-01-01

    • Recent studies suggest that invasive plants compete reproductively with native plants by reducing the quantity or quality of pollinator visits. Although these studies have revealed ecological consequences of pollinator-mediated competition between invasive and native plants, the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions remain largely unexplored.• We studied the ecological and evolutionary impact of pollinator-mediated competition with an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a co-occurring native congener, I. capensis. Using a pollinator choice experiment, a hand pollination experiment, and a selection analysis, we addressed the following questions: (1) Do native pollinators show preference for the invasive or native jewelweed, and do they move between the two species? (2) Does invasive jewelweed pollen inhibit seed production in the native plant? (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the native plant's floral traits?• The pollinator choice experiment showed that pollinators strongly preferred the invasive jewelweed. The hand pollination experiment demonstrated that invasive pollen inhibited seed production in the native plant. The selection analysis showed that the presence of the invasive jewelweed altered phenotypic selection on corolla height in the native plant.• Invasive plants have the potential to alter phenotypic selection on floral traits in native plant populations. If native plants can evolve in response to this altered selection pressure, the evolution of floral traits may play an important role in permitting long-term coexistence of native and invasive plants. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  5. Presence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in South Florida native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jack B; Jayachandran, K

    2005-11-01

    The roots of 27 species of South Florida plants in 15 families (including one cycad, six palms, one Smilax, and 19 dicotyledons) native to pine rockland and tropical hardwood hammock communities were examined for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). These plants grow in the biologically diverse but endangered Greater Everglades habitat. Roots from field-grown and potted plants were cleared and stained. All 27 species had AMF and include 14 species having an endangered or threatened status. The Paris-type colonization occurred in two species in the families Annonaceae and Smilacaceae. The Arum-type occurred in 22 species in the families Anacardiaceae, Arecaceae (Palmae), Boraginaceae, Cactaceae (questionable), Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Melastomataceae, Polygalaceae, Rubiaceae, Simaroubaceae, Ulmaceae, and Zamiaceae. Three species in the families Fabaceae, Lauraceae, and Simaroubaceae had a mix of Paris- and Arum-types. The results have implications for the restoration of these endangered plant communities in the Everglades.

  6. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae and light on Wisconsin (USA) sand savanna understories 1. Plant community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Frank C; Gargas, Andrea; Givnish, Thomas J

    2005-11-01

    To explain the complex community composition found in Wisconsin (USA) oak savannas, we investigated potentially interacting effects of light gradients and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on community composition in the greenhouse, using a fully randomized block experimental design. We used plant species, soil, and AMF from a remnant sand savanna in setting up the experiment, using two light and five AMF treatments. Eleven plant species were seeded into 80 microcosms, and they were grown together for 20 weeks. Plant numbers and biomass were measured, and Simpson's index was calculated for both. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and nonparametric ANOVA. We found significant light effects on biomass and on numbers of four species. There were no treatment effects on Simpson's index, and only Schizachyrium numbers showed a significant AMF effect. These findings are consistent with results from other studies of the sand savanna, and, collectively, these data suggest that plant community composition in this species-rich savanna is not strongly influenced by arbuscular mycorrhizae. This is a novel finding with important implications for understanding interactions between plant and AMF diversity in wild communities.

  7. Directed seed dispersal of Piper by Carollia perspicillata and its effect on understory plant diversity and folivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Kelm, Detlev H; Salazar, Diego

    2013-11-01

    Directed dispersal occurs when seeds are differentially deposited to sites where offspring survivorship is higher than at randomly chosen sites. Traditionally, characteristics of the dispersal target sites that could increase survivorship of the dispersed plants are thought to be intrinsic to the sites. If directed dispersal is constant over extended periods of time, however, it is likely that nonrandom patterns of dispersal could modify the ecological characteristics of the target site in ways that could increase survivorship and fitness of the dispersed plants. Here we report patterns of Piper diversity (richness, equitability, and similarity) and Piper folivory within plots near natural or artificial roosts of Carollia perspicillata vs. similar plots without bat roosts. Plots with bat roosts, both natural and artificial, had significantly higher Piper species diversity. Additionally, we found that plots with a higher Piper species diversity showed less specialist folivory, higher generalist folivory, and lower total herbivore leaf damage than plots with low Piper diversity. Finally, plots with bat roosts also showed less specialist folivory, lower generalist folivory, and lower total folivory when compared to plots without roosts. We propose that long-lasting nonrandom patterns of seed dispersal can change the local ecological characteristics of target sites via changes in plant diversity, and that these changes are likely to reduce the local rates of folivory and, therefore, increase seed and adult plant survivorship.

  8. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Paul O.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat—in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the ‘extinction trajectory’, global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either ‘in the wild’ (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1–3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader

  9. Improving Survival and Growth of Planted Austrocedrus chilensis Seedlings in Disturbed Patagonian Forests of Argentina by Managing Understory Vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M. Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E.

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment.

  10. The impact of forest roads on understory plant diversity in temperate hornbeam-beech forests of Northern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deljouei, Azade; Abdi, Ehsan; Marcantonio, Matteo; Majnounian, Baris; Amici, Valerio; Sohrabi, Hormoz

    2017-08-01

    Forest roads alter the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, modifying temperature, humidity, wind speed, and light availability that, in turn, cause changes in plant community composition and diversity. We aim at investigating and comparing the diversity of herbaceous species along main and secondary forest roads in a temperate-managed hornbeam-beech forest, north of Iran. Sixteen transects along main and secondary forest roads were established (eight transects along main roads and eight along secondary roads). To eliminate the effect of forest type, all transects were located in Carpinetum-Fagetum forests, the dominant forest type in the study area. The total length of each transect was 200 m (100 m toward up slope and 100 m toward down slope), and plots were established along it at different distances from road edge. The diversity of herbaceous plant species was calculated in each plot using Shannon-Wiener index, species richness, and Pielou's index. The results showed that diversity index decreased when distance from road edge increases. This decreasing trend continued up to 60 m from forest road margin, and after this threshold, the index slightly increased. Depending on the type of road (main or secondary) as well as cut or fill slopes, the area showing a statistical different plant composition and diversity measured through Shannon-Wiener, species richness, and Pielou's index is up to 10 m. The length depth of the road edge effect found in main and secondary forest roads was small, but it could have cumulative effects on forest microclimate and forest-associated biota at the island scale. Forest managers should account for the effect of road buildings on plant communities.

  11. 侧柏人工林下层木本植物的组成及多样性%Species composition and diversity of understory woody plants in Platycladus orientalis plantation in Xu zhou

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    尤海梅; 阎传海; 于法展; 王仲宇

    2011-01-01

    为明确徐州山地现有侧柏人工林下层木本植物的自然更新状况,依据40个20m×20m样地群落的调查数据,分析了林下自然更新的木本植物的组成及其相似性.结果表明,侧柏人工林下层自然更新的木本植物中单科种、单属种优势明显,林下木本植物区系组成复杂,出现的12种区系地理成分中,温带成分占主体,热带成分占较大比例.侧柏人工林下层出现的木本植物种类较多,但不同生境下群落的物种丰富度和多样性不高、组成树种的相似性极高,尤其是乔木树种的相似性明显高于灌木树种.林下木本植物的种类组成受立地条件和种子传播方式的显著影响,建议改善立地条件以提高林下木本植物的丰富度和多样性,同时控制外来树种的侵入以促进人工林的地带性演替.%In order to explore the natural regeneration condition of understory woody species in Platycladus orientalis plantation in Xuzhou mountainous region, 40 plots of 20 m x 20 m were set up and surveyed, and composition and similarity of the communities were analyzed. The result showed that the single -species family, the single -species genera were the main part of natural regeneration woody plants in understory of Platycladus orientalis plantation, the composition of understory woody species was complex. There were 12 geographic elements of the flora, and the temperate elements were the main part of the woody flora and the tropic element hold a great proportion. Although the richness and diversity of understory woody species was lower, the similarities of understory woody species between plots were very high, especially, the similarities of tree species were significant higher than the shrubs. Composition of understory woody species was influenced by the habitat and the seed dispersal; Therefore, the habitats of understory should be improved to raise the richness and diversity of understory woody species, and the invasion of

  12. Who is who in the understory: the contribution of resident and transitory groups of species to plant richness in forest assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JulianaSilva Gomes-Westphalen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The forest understory is made up of resident and transitory species and can be much richer than the canopy. With the purpose to describe the contribution of these groups to the woody understory, five Atlantic Forest fragments were selected and studied in Northeastern Brazil. In order to analyze the understory’s structure, the sample included woody individuals with circumference at breast height (CBH smaller than 15cm and circumference at ground level (CGL greater than 3cm, regardless of height. The recorded species were quantified and classified into functional stratification categories (resident and transitory, and the floristic similarity between the understory and the tree stratum was calculated. Species’ importance in the understory was analyzed by height and total natural regeneration classes based on a regeneration index. The understory was richer in species (median=63.8, SD=21.72, n=5 fragments than the tree stratum (43.8, 18.14, 5, and the similarity between these components was relatively high (median=0.54, SD=0.09. The results also showed that the studied understory in the forest fragments was mainly composed by transitory species (median=67.01%, SD=3.76, that were well distributed among height classes and had the highest densities, which may favor their future presence in the canopy’s structure and composition. The typical understory species were grouped into two strata: the lower understory, made up of species that generally do not reach more than 4m in height (mostly species from families Piperaceae, Rubiaceae and Melastomataceae; and the upper understory, with intermediate heights between the lower understory and the canopy, but with average heights that were not higher than 10m (mainly of species from families Anonnaceae, Clusiaceae and Myrtaceae. These families’ richness was commonly used as an indicator of the vegetation’s successional stage; however, such results must be seen with caution as they show that these

  13. Investigating the rheological properties of native plant latex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Georg; Friedrich, Christian; Gillig, Carina; Vollrath, Fritz; Speck, Thomas; Holland, Chris

    2014-01-06

    Plant latex, the source of natural rubber, has been of interest to mankind for millennia, with much of the research on its rheological (flow) properties focused towards industrial application. However, little is known regarding the rheology of the native material as produced by the plant, a key factor in determining latex's biological functions. In this study, we outline a method for rheological comparison between native latices that requires a minimum of preparatory steps. Our approach provides quantitative insights into the coagulation mechanisms of Euphorbia and Ficus latex allowing interpretation within a comparative evolutionary framework. Our findings reveal that in laboratory conditions both latices behave like non-Newtonian materials with the coagulation of Euphorbia latex being mediated by a slow evaporative process (more than 60 min), whereas Ficus appears to use additional biochemical components to increase the rate of coagulation (more than 30 min). Based on these results, we propose two different primary defensive roles for latex in these plants: the delivery of anti-herbivory compounds (Euphorbia) and rapid wound healing (Ficus).

  14. DNA barcoding the native flowering plants and conifers of Wales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha de Vere

    Full Text Available We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species. Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85% are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments, formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification.

  15. DNA barcoding the native flowering plants and conifers of Wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim C G; Ford, Col R; Trinder, Sarah A; Long, Charlotte; Moore, Chris W; Satterthwaite, Danielle; Davies, Helena; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ronca, Sandra; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Garbett, Hannah; Walker, Kevin; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species). Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85%) are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination) is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments), formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment) is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification.

  16. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  17. Morphological variability in tree root architecture indirectly affects coexistence among competitors in the understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aschehoug, Erik T; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-07-01

    Interactions between plants can have strong effects on community structure and function. Variability in the morphological, developmental, physiological, and biochemical traits of plants can influence the outcome of plant interactions and thus have important ecological consequences. However, the ecological ramifications of trait variability in plants are poorly understood and have rarely been tested in the field. We experimentally tested the effects of morphological variation in root architecture of Quercus douglasii trees in the field on interactions between understory plants and community composition. Our results indicate that variability among Q. douglasii tree root systems initiates a striking reversal in the competitive effects of dominant understory grass species on a less common species. Trees with a deep-rooted morphology facilitated exotic annual grasses and these annual grasses, in turn, competitively excluded the native perennial bunchgrass, Stipapulchra. In contrast, Q. douglasii trees with shallow-rooted morphologies directly suppressed the growth of exotic annual grasses and indirectly released S. pulchra individuals from competition with these annual grasses. Morphological variation in the root architecture of Q. douglasii created substantial conditionality in the outcomes of competition among species which enhanced the potential for indirect interactions to sustain coexistence and increase community diversity.

  18. Invasive plant suppresses the growth of native tree seedlings by disrupting belowground mutualisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina A Stinson

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The impact of exotic species on native organisms is widely acknowledged, but poorly understood. Very few studies have empirically investigated how invading plants may alter delicate ecological interactions among resident species in the invaded range. We present novel evidence that antifungal phytochemistry of the invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, a European invader of North American forests, suppresses native plant growth by disrupting mutualistic associations between native canopy tree seedlings and belowground arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Our results elucidate an indirect mechanism by which invasive plants can impact native flora, and may help explain how this plant successfully invades relatively undisturbed forest habitat.

  19. Plant and root endophyte assembly history: interactive effects on native and exotic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikes, Benjamin A; Hawkes, Christine V; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-02-01

    Differences in the arrival timing of plants and soil biota may result in different plant communities through priority effects, potentially affecting the success of native vs. exotic plants, but experimental evidence is largely lacking. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate whether the assembly history of plants and fungal root endophytes could interact to influence plant emergence and biomass. We introduced a grass species and eight fungal species from one of three land-use types (undisturbed, disturbed, or pasture sites in a Florida scrubland) in factorial combinations. We then introduced all plants and fungi from the other land-use types 2 weeks later. Plant emergence was monitored for 6 months, and final plant biomass and fungal species composition assessed. The emergence and growth of the exotic Melinis repens and the native Schizacharyium niveum were affected negatively when introduced early with their "home" fungi, but early introduction of a different plant species or fungi from a different site type eliminated these negative effects, providing evidence for interactive priority effects. Interactive effects of plant and fungal arrival history may be an overlooked determinant of plant community structure and may provide an effective management tool to inhibit biological invasion and aid ecosystem restoration.

  20. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Kleunen, Mark; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Pergl, Jan; Winter, Marten; Weber, Ewald; Kreft, Holger; Weigelt, Patrick; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Antonova, Liubov A.; Barcelona, Julie F.; Cabezas, Francisco J.; Cárdenas, Dairon; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana; Castaño, Nicolás; Chacón, Eduardo; Chatelain, Cyrille; Ebel, Aleksandr L.; Figueiredo, Estrela; Fuentes, Nicol; Groom, Quentin J.; Henderson, Lesley; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, Andrey; Masciadri, Silvana; Meerman, Jan; Morozova, Olga; Moser, Dietmar; Nickrent, Daniel L.; Patzelt, Annette; Pelser, Pieter B.; Baptiste, María P.; Poopath, Manop; Schulze, Maria; Seebens, Hanno; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Thomas, Jacob; Velayos, Mauricio; Wieringa, Jan J.; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-09-01

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

  1. 75 FR 60405 - Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, Integrated Non-Native Invasive Plant Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-30

    ... Forest Service Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, Integrated Non-Native Invasive Plant Project AGENCY... control spread of non- native invasive plants (NNIP) within the LNF. The proposal utilizes several... methods, and adaptive management. Invasive plants designated by the State of New Mexico as noxious weeds...

  2. Pollination ecology of a plant in its native and introduced areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat; Ortiz-Sánchez, F. Javier

    2014-04-01

    Entomophilous and obligate out-crossing non-native plants need to become well integrated in the resident plant-pollinator network to set seeds and become established. However, it is largely unknown how pollination patterns differ between native ranges and those where plants have been introduced.

  3. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  4. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macel, M.; Vos, de R.C.H.; Jansen, J.J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Dam, van N.M.

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native co

  5. Apparent competition and native consumers exacerbate the strong competitive effect of an exotic plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrock, John L; Dutra, Humberto P; Marquis, Robert J; Barber, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Direct and indirect effects can play a key role in invasions, but experiments evaluating both are rare. We examined the roles of direct competition and apparent competition by exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) by manipulating (1) L. maackii vegetation, (2) presence of L. maackii fruits, and (3) access to plants by small mammals and deer. Direct competition with L. maackii reduced the abundance and richness of native and exotic species, and native consumers significantly reduced the abundance and richness of native species. Although effects of direct competition and consumption were more pervasive, richness of native plants was also reduced through apparent competition, as small-mammal consumers reduced richness only when L. maackii fruits were present. Our experiment reveals the multiple, interactive pathways that affect the success and impact of an invasive exotic plant: exotic plants may directly benefit from reduced attack by native consumers, may directly exert strong competitive effects on native plants, and may also benefit from apparent competition.

  6. Attractiveness of Michigan native plants to arthropod natural enemies and herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    The use of plants to provide nectar and pollen resources to natural enemies through habitat management is a growing focus of conservation biological control. Current guidelines frequently recommend use of annual plants exotic to the management area, but native perennial plants are likely to provide similar resources and may have several advantages over exotics. We compared a set of 43 native Michigan perennial plants and 5 frequently recommended exotic annual plants for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores for 2 yr. Plant species differed significantly in their attractiveness to natural enemies. In year 1, the exotic annual plants outperformed many of the newly established native perennial plants. In year 2, however, many native perennial plants attracted higher numbers of natural enemies than exotic plants. In year 2, we compared each flowering plant against the background vegetation (grass) for their attractiveness to natural enemies and herbivores. Screening individual plant species allowed rapid assessment of attractiveness to natural enemies. We identified 24 native perennial plants that attracted high numbers of natural enemies with promise for habitat management. Among the most attractive are Eupatorium perfoliatum L., Monarda punctata L., Silphium perfoliatum L., Potentilla fruticosa auct. non L., Coreopsis lanceolata L., Spiraea alba Duroi, Agastache nepetoides (L.) Kuntze, Anemone canadensis L., and Angelica atropurpurea L. Subsets of these plants can now be tested to develop a community of native plant species that attracts diverse natural enemy taxa and provides nectar and pollen throughout the growing season.

  7. Impacts of fire on non-native plant recruitment in black spruce forests of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Alexandra J.; Jean, Mélanie

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the extent and severity of wildfires throughout the boreal forest. Historically, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) forests in interior Alaska have been relatively free of non-native species, but the compounding effects of climate change and an altered fire regime could facilitate the expansion of non-native plants. We tested the effects of wildfire on non-native plant colonization by conducting a seeding experiment of non-native plants on different substrate types in a burned black spruce forest, and surveying for non-native plants in recently burned and mature black spruce forests. We found few non-native plants in burned or mature forests, despite their high roadside presence, although invasion of some burned sites by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) indicated the potential for non-native plants to move into burned forest. Experimental germination rates were significantly higher on mineral soil compared to organic soil, indicating that severe fires that combust much of the organic layer could increase the potential for non-native plant colonization. We conclude that fire disturbances that remove the organic layer could facilitate the invasion of non-native plants providing there is a viable seed source and dispersal vector. PMID:28158284

  8. Plant-associated bacterial populations on native and invasive plant species: comparisons between 2 freshwater environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olapade, Ola A; Pung, Kayleigh

    2012-06-01

    Plant-microbial interactions have been well studied because of the ecological importance of such relationships in aquatic systems. However, general knowledge regarding the composition of these biofilm communities is still evolving, partly as a result of several confounding factors that are attributable to plant host properties and to hydrodynamic conditions in aquatic environments. In this study, the occurrences of various bacterial phylogenetic taxa on 2 native plants, i.e., mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.) and cow parsnip (Heracleum maximum Bartram), and on an invasive species, i.e., garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande), were quantitatively examined using nucleic acid staining and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The plants were incubated in triplicates for about a week within the Kalamazoo River and Pierce Cedar Creek as well as in microcosms. The bacterial groups targeted for enumeration are known to globally occur in relatively high abundance and are also ubiquitously distributed in freshwater environments. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses of the bacterioplankton assemblages revealed that the majority of bacterial cells that hybridized with the different probes were similar between the 2 sites. In contrast, the plant-associated populations while similar on the 3 plants incubated in Kalamazoo River, their representations were highest on the 2 native plants relative to the invasive species in Pierce Cedar Creek. Overall, our results further suggested that epiphytic bacterial assemblages are probably under the influences of and probably subsequently respond to multiple variables and conditions in aquatic milieus.

  9. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-22

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  10. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  11. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of...

  12. Market perceptions and opportunities for native plant production on the southern Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donna L. Peppin; Peter Z. Fule; Janet C. Lynn; Anne L. Mottek-Lucas; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2010-01-01

    Increases in revegetation activities have created a large demand for locally adapted native plant materials (NPM) in the southwestern United States. Currently, there is a minimal supply of local genotypes to meet this demand. We investigated the potential for the initiation of a native plant market in the southern Colorado Plateau. Through a literature search,...

  13. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podadera, Diego S.; Engel, Vera L.; Parrotta, John A.; Machado, Deivid L.; Sato, Luciane M.; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species ( Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  14. Effects of Planting Sarcandra glabra in Forest on Understory Plant Species Diversity%林下种植草珊瑚对林下植物多样性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    苏亨荣

    2014-01-01

    Based on the datasets from sampling plots ,and by using species richness index ,evenness index ,and diversity index ,this paper studied the effects of planting Sarcandra glabra on the understory plant species diversity in Masson Pine and fir mixed Planta-tion of state-owned forest Meilin in Datian County ,Fujian Province ,and analyzed the differences in the test indices among different planting practice sites.The results showed that:①The planting of Sarcandra glabra decreased the species diversity of shrub layer sig-nificantly.②Planting Sarcandra glabra decreased the species richness and Shannon-Wiener indices , but increased the Pielou and Simpson indices of herb layer significantly.③All the test indices of herb layer had no significant differences between the different Planting years of Sarcandra glabra except the richness index.④To take into account the economic and ecological benefits when con-ducting planting Sarcandra glabra.%以样方调查数据为基础,采用物种丰富度指数、均匀度指数、多样性指数对福建省大田县梅林国有林场马尾松杉木混交人工林林下种植草珊瑚对林下植物多样性的影响进行研究,并分析林下种植草珊瑚样地和未种植草珊瑚(对照)样地以及草珊瑚不同种植年限样地之间各种指数的差异程度。结果表明:①林下种植草珊瑚(栽植1 a、2 a)对灌木层产生了显著的影响,降低了物种多样性;②林下种植草珊瑚使草本层的丰富度指数和Shannon-Wiener 指数显著下降,Pielou指数和Simpson指数显著上升;③草珊瑚种植1 a与种植2 a后林地物种多样性指数除了丰富度指数有显著差异外,其他指数差异均不显著;④开展林下种植草珊瑚,要兼顾经济效益和生态效益。

  15. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-09

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  16. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-01

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  17. Elucidating Native and Non-Native Plant-Fog Interactions Across Microclimatic Zones in San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, S.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Hu, J.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in land use, such as the clear cutting of forests and the abandonment of land once used for agriculture, pose an incredible threat to the fragile ecosystems in the tropics. One such consequence of land use change in the tropics is the propagation of invasive plant species. The Galapagos Islands, an ecosystem subject to significant anthropogenic pressure by both increasing tourism and a growing native population, are especially threatened by invasive plant species. More than 800 plant species have been introduced in Galapagos, comprising over 60% of the total flora. San Cristobal Island in particular has been impacted by the introduction of non-native species; the combined pressures of invasive species and land use change have fundamentally altered 70% of the landscape of the island. We performed stable isotope analysis of fog water, surface water and plant xylem water to examine water use by both native and invasive plant species across different microclimatic zones. We conducted these measurements starting at the end of the rainy season and through the middle of the dry season. Our results represent an initial effort to characterize the effects of a changing vegetative cover on the water cycling of tropical islands and provide insight into the interactions between plants, surface water and groundwater at various spatial and temporal scales.

  18. Native-plant hosts of Meloidogyne spp. from Western Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa A. Antes

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study was focused on the parasitism of Meloidogyne species on the roots of native nursery plants from the Atlantic forest. Native plants were selected from a commercial nursery in Western Paraná, searching for the natural infection of Meloidogyne. Also, the seeds of native plants were cultivated in sterile soil and inoculated with M. incognita. In both the experiments, the number of galls and number of eggs and J2 per root, allied to the reproduction factor of M. incognita on each inoculated plant were assessed. Natural infection by M. javanica was found on Cordia ecalyculata, Citharexyllum myrianthum and Aspidosperma subincanum and by M. incognita on Croton urucurana, Lonchocarpus muehlbergianus, Tabebuia impetiginosa and T. serratifolia. Meloidogyne incognita induced galls formation on Genipa americana, Schinus terebinthifolius and Rollinia mucosa after inoculation, which suggested that those plants could host this nematode in natural biomes. Nursery soil should be disinfested before seeding the native forest plants for reforestation purposes

  19. Relative floral density of an invasive plant affects pollinator foraging behaviour on a native plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Marie Iler

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between invasive and native plants for pollinators vary from competition to facilitation of pollination of native plants. Theory predicts that relative floral densities should account for some of this variation in outcomes, with facilitation at low floral densities and competition at high floral densities of the invader. We tested this prediction by quantifying pollination and female reproductive success of a native herb, Geranium maculatum, in three experimental arrays that varied in floral density of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii: control (no L. maackii, low floral density of L. maackii, and high floral density of L. maackii. A low density of L. maackii flowers was associated with an increase in pollinator visitation rate to G. maculatum flowers and an increase in conspecific pollen deposition compared to controls and high density arrays. Increased visitation rates were not associated with an increase in the number of visitors to low density arrays, suggesting instead that a behavioural switch in visitation within the array accounted for increased pollen deposition. In contrast, the only evidence of competition in high density arrays was a shorter duration of visits to G. maculatum flowers relative to the other treatments. The number of seeds per flower did not vary among treatments, although trends in seeds per flower were consistent with patterns of pollinator foraging behaviour. Given increased pollinator visits and pollen deposition at a low density of the invader, our study indicates that complete eradication of invasives as a management or restoration technique may have unintended negative consequences for pollination of native plants.

  20. Reciprocal effects of litter from exotic and congeneric native plant species via soil nutrients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelein Meisner

    Full Text Available Invasive exotic plant species are often expected to benefit exclusively from legacy effects of their litter inputs on soil processes and nutrient availability. However, there are relatively few experimental tests determining how litter of exotic plants affects their own growth conditions compared to congeneric native plant species. Here, we test how the legacy of litter from three exotic plant species affects their own performance in comparison to their congeneric natives that co-occur in the invaded habitat. We also analyzed litter effects on soil processes. In all three comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had the highest respiration rates. In two out of the three exotic-native species comparisons, soil with litter from exotic plant species had higher inorganic nitrogen concentrations than their native congener, which was likely due to higher initial litter quality of the exotics. When litter from an exotic plant species had a positive effect on itself, it also had a positive effect on its native congener. We conclude that exotic plant species develop a legacy effect in soil from the invaded range through their litter inputs. This litter legacy effect results in altered soil processes that can promote both the exotic plant species and their native congener.

  1. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffler, A Joshua; James, Jeremy J; Monaco, Thomas A; Sheley, Roger L

    2014-02-01

    Functional differences between native and exotic species potentially constitute one factor responsible for plant invasion. Differences in trait values between native and exotic invasive species, however, should not be considered fixed and may depend on the context of the comparison. Furthermore, the magnitude of difference between native and exotic species necessary to trigger invasion is unknown. We propose a criterion that differences in trait values between a native and exotic invasive species must be greater than differences between co-occurring natives for this difference to be ecologically meaningful and a contributing factor to plant invasion. We used a meta-analysis to quantify the difference between native and exotic invasive species for various traits examined in previous studies and compared this value to differences among native species reported in the same studies. The effect size between native and exotic invasive species was similar to the effect size between co-occurring natives except for studies conducted in the field; in most instances, our criterion was not met although overall differences between native and exotic invasive species were slightly larger than differences between natives. Consequently, trait differences may be important in certain contexts, but other mechanisms of invasion are likely more important in most cases. We suggest that using trait values as predictors of invasion will be challenging.

  2. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  3. Native weeds and exotic plants: Relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    Disturbance frequently is implicated in the spread of invasive exotic plants. Disturbances may be broadly categorized as endogenous (e.g., digging by fossorial animals) or exogenous (e.g., construction and maintenance of roads and trails), just as weedy species may be native or exotic in origin. The objective of this study was to characterize and compare exotic and native weedy plant occurrence in and near three classes of disturbance -digging by prairie dogs (an endogenous disturbance to which native plants have had the opportunity to adapt), paved or gravel roads (an exogenous disturbance without natural precedent), and constructed trails (an exogenous disturbance with a natural precedent in trails created by movement of large mammals) - in three geographically separate national park units. I used plant survey data from the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Wind Cave National Park in the northern mixed-grass prairie of western North and South Dakota, USA, to characterize the distribution of weedy native and exotic plants with respect to the three disturbance classes as well as areas adjacent to them. There were differences both in the susceptibility of the disturbance classes to invasion and in the distributions of native weeds and exotic species among the disturbance classes. Both exotic and native weedy species richness were greatest in prairie dog towns and community composition there differed most from undisturbed areas. Exotic species were more likely to thrive near roadways, where native weedy species were infrequently encountered. Exotic species were more likely to have spread beyond the disturbed areas into native prairie than were weedy native species. The response of individual exotic plant species to the three types of disturbance was less consistent than that of native weedy species across the three park units.

  4. Assessing the risk of Glyphosate to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species of North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study was conducted to determine the ecological risk to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species which may be growing in areas affected by off target movement of glyphosate applied to glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ten native grass and forb species were ...

  5. Assessing the risk of Glyphosate to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species of North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study was conducted to determine the ecological risk to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species which may be growing in areas affected by off target movement of glyphosate applied to glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ten native grass and forb species were ...

  6. Do native parasitic plants cause more damage to exotic invasive hosts than native non-invasive hosts? An implication for biocontrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.

  7. 2011 Invasive Non-native Plant Inventory dataset : Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This dataset is a product of the 2011 invasive non-native plant inventory conducted at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge by Utah State University. This inventory...

  8. Comparative water use of native and invasive plants at multiple scales: a global meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavaleri, Molly A; Sack, Lawren

    2010-09-01

    Ecohydrology and invasive ecology have become increasingly important in the context of global climate change. This study presents the first in-depth analysis of the water use of invasive and native plants of the same growth form at multiple scales: leaf, plant, and ecosystem. We reanalyzed data for several hundred native and invasive species from over 40 published studies worldwide to glean global trends and to highlight how patterns vary depending on both scale and climate. We analyzed all pairwise combinations of co-occurring native and invasive species for higher comparative resolution of the likelihood of an invasive species using more water than a native species and tested for significance using bootstrap methods. At each scale, we found several-fold differences in water use between specific paired invasive and native species. At the leaf scale, we found a strong tendency for invasive species to have greater stomatal conductance than native species. At the plant scale, however, natives and invasives were equally likely to have the higher sap flow rates. Available data were much fewer for the ecosystem scale; nevertheless, we found that invasive-dominated ecosystems were more likely to have higher sap flow rates per unit ground area than native-dominated ecosystems. Ecosystem-scale evapotranspiration, on the other hand, was equally likely to be greater for systems dominated by invasive and native species of the same growth form. The inherent disconnects in the determination of water use when changing scales from leaf to plant to ecosystem reveal hypotheses for future studies and a critical need for more ecosystem-scale water use measurements in invasive- vs. native-dominated systems. The differences in water use of native and invasive species also depended strongly on climate, with the greater water use of invasives enhanced in hotter, wetter climates at the coarser scales.

  9. Number of endemic and native plant species in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, E.; Hansen, Anders J.; Nielsen, K. K.

    2002-01-01

    By simple and multiple regression analyses we investigate updated species numbers of endemic and native vascular plants and seed plants in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters. We find that the best models to describe species numbers are regression models with log...... explained variation is in general small. The results show that the species area relationships are different for native and endemic species. This is discussed in relation to classical island biogeographical models, and the concepts of radiative speciation. Udgivelsesdato: 2002...

  10. Differential responses of invasive and native plants to warming with simulated changes in diurnal temperature ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bao-Ming; Gao, Yang; Liao, Hui-Xuan; Peng, Shao-Lin

    2017-07-01

    Although many studies have documented the effects of global warming on invasive plants, little is known about whether the effects of warming on plant invasion differ depending on the imposed change in different diurnal temperature ranges (DTR). We tested the impact of warming with DTR change on seed germination and seedling growth of eight species in the family Asteraceae. Four of these are invasive (Eupatorium catarium, Mikania micrantha, Biodens pilosa var. radiate, Ageratum conyzoides) in China, and four are native (Sonchus arvensis, Senecios candens, Pterocypsela indica, Eupatorium fortunei). Four temperature treatments were set in growth chambers (three warming by 3 °C with different DTRs and control), and experiments were run to mimic wintertime and summertime conditions. The control treatment (Tc ) was set to the mean temperature for the corresponding time of year, and the three warming treatments were symmetric (i.e. equal night-and-day) (DTRsym), asymmetric warming with increased (DTRinc) and decreased (DTRdec) DTR. The warming treatments did not affect seed germination of invasive species under any of the conditions, but DTRsym and DTRinc increased seed germination of natives relative to the control, suggesting that warming may not increase success of these invasive plant species via effects on seed germination of invasive plants relative to native plants. The invasive plants had higher biomass and greater stem allocation than the native ones under all of the warming treatments. Wintertime warming increased the biomass of the invasive and wintertime DTRsym and DTRinc increased that of the native plants, whereas summertime asymmetric warming decreased the biomass of the invasives but not the natives. Therefore, warming may not facilitate invasion of these invasive species due to the suppressive effects of summertime warming (particularly the asymmetric warming) on growth. Compared with DTRsym, DTRdec decreased the biomass of both the invasive and native

  11. Crabs mediate interactions between native and invasive salt marsh plants: a mesocosm study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Dong Zhang

    Full Text Available Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass, were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation.

  12. Beyond the ecological: biological invasions alter natural selection on a native plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2008-04-01

    Biological invasions can have strong ecological effects on native communities by altering ecosystem functions, species interactions, and community composition. Even though these ecological effects frequently impact the population dynamics and fitness of native species, the evolutionary consequences of biological invasions have received relatively little attention. Here, I show that invasions impose novel selective pressures on a native plant species. By experimentally manipulating community composition, I found that the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic herbivore Hypera brunneipennis alter the strength and, in some instances, the direction of natural selection on the competitive ability and anti-herbivore defenses of the native plant Lotus wrangelianus. Furthermore, the community composition of exotics influenced which traits were favored. For example, high densities of the exotic herbivore Hypera selected for increased resistance to herbivores in the native Lotus; however, when Medicago also was present, selection on this defense was eliminated. In contrast, selection on tolerance, another plant defense trait, was highest when both Hypera and Medicago were present at high densities. Thus, multiple exotic species may interact to influence the evolutionary trajectories of native plant populations, and patterns of selection may change as additional exotic species invade the community.

  13. The influences of canopy species and topographic variables on understory species diversity and composition in coniferous forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Hong; Feng, Qi; Su, Yong-hong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of understory vegetation is important for biological conservation and forest management. We compared understory species composition by multi-response permutation procedure and indicator species analysis between plots dominated by Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) and Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) in coniferous forests of the Qilian Mountains, northwestern China. Understory species composition differed markedly between the forest types. Many heliophilous species were significantly associated with juniper forest, while only one species was indicative of spruce forest. Using constrained ordination and the variation partitioning model, we quantitatively assessed the relative effects of two sets of explanatory variables on understory species composition. The results showed that topographic variables had higher explanatory power than did site conditions for understory plant distributions. However, a large amount of the variation in understory species composition remained unexplained. Forward selection revealed that understory species distributions were primarily affected by elevation and aspect. Juniper forest had higher species richness and α-diversity and lower β-diversity in the herb layer of the understory plant community than spruce forest, suggesting that the former may be more important in maintaining understory biodiversity and community stability in alpine coniferous forest ecosystems.

  14. Understory vegetation leads to changes in soil acidity and in microbial communities 27 years after reforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Xiaoli; Yang, Fengting; Wang, Jianlei; Di, Yuebao; Dai, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xinyu; Wang, Huimin

    2015-01-01

    Experiments with potted plants and removed understories have indicated that understory vegetation often affects the chemical and microbial properties of soil. In this study, we examined the mechanism and extent of the influence of understory vegetation on the chemical and microbial properties of soil in plantation forests. The relationships between the vegetational structure (diversity for different functional layers, aboveground biomass of understory vegetation, and species number) and soil properties (pH, microbial community structure, and levels of soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and inorganic nitrogen) were analyzed across six reforestation types (three pure needleleaf forests, a needle-broadleaf mixed forest, a broadleaf forest, and a shrubland). Twenty-seven years after reforestation, soil pH significantly decreased by an average of 0.95 across reforestation types. Soil pH was positively correlated with the aboveground biomass of the understory. The levels of total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids, and the fungal:bacterial ratios were similar in the shrubland and the broadleaf forest. Both the aboveground biomass of the understory and the diversity of the tree layer positively influenced the fungal:bacterial ratio. Improving the aboveground biomass of the understory could alleviate soil acidification. An increase in the aboveground biomass of the understory, rather than in understory diversity, enhanced the functional traits of the soil microbial communities. The replacement of pure plantations with mixed-species stands, as well as the enhancement of understory recruitment, can improve the ecological functions of a plantation, as measured by the alleviation of soil acidification and increased fungal dominance.

  15. Non-native megaherbivores: the case for novel function to manage plant invasions on islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Dennis M

    2015-07-20

    There is a heated debate about whether all non-native species are 'guilty until proven innocent', or whether some should be accepted or even welcomed. Further fanning the flames, I here present a case where introductions of carefully vetted, non-native species could provide a net conservation benefit. On many islands, native megaherbivores (flightless birds, tortoises) recently went extinct. Here, rewilding with carefully selected non-native species as ecological replacements is increasingly considered a solution, reinstating a herbivory regime that largely benefits the native flora. Based on these efforts, I suggest that restoration practitioners working on islands without a history of native megaherbivores that are threatened by invasive plants should consider introducing a non-native island megaherbivore, and that large and giant tortoises are ideal candidates. Such tortoises would be equally useful on islands where eradication of invasive mammals has led to increased problems with invasive plants, or on islands that never had introduced mammalian herbivores, but where invasive plants are a problem. My proposal may seem radical, but the reversibility of using giant tortoises means that nothing is lost from trying, and that indeed much is to be gained. As an easily regulated adaptive management tool, it represents an innovative, hypothesis-driven 'innocent until proven guilty' approach.

  16. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  17. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with th

  18. Number of endemic and native plant species in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willerslev, Eske; Hansen, Anders J.; Nielsen, Kirstine Klitgaard

    2002-01-01

    By simple and multiple regression analyses we investigate updated species numbers of endemic and native vascular plants and seed plants in the Galapagos Archipelago in relation to geographical parameters. We find that the best models to describe species numbers are regression models with log-tran...

  19. Ecological engineering by a native leaf-cutting ant increases the performance of exotic plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Lescano, Natalia; Ghermandi, Luciana

    2010-05-01

    Numerous mechanisms are proposed to explain why exotic plants successfully invade natural communities. However, the positive effects of native engineers on exotic plant species have received less consideration. We tested whether the nutrient-rich soil patches created by a native ecological engineer (refuse dumps from the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex lobicornis) increase the performance of exotic more than native plants. In a greenhouse experiment, individuals from several native and exotic species were planted in pots with refuse dumps (RDs) and non-nest soils (NNSs). Total plant biomass and foliar nutrient content were measured at the end of the experiment. We also estimated the cover of exotic and native plant species in external RDs from 54 field ant nests and adjacent areas. Greenhouse plants showed more biomass and foliar nutrient content in RDs than in NNS pots. Nevertheless, differences in the final mean biomass among RD and NNS plants were especially great in exotics. Accordingly, the cover of exotic plants was higher in field RDs than in adjacent, non-nest soils. Our results demonstrated that plants can benefit from the enhanced nutrient content of ant RDs, and that A. lobicornis acts as an ecosystem engineer, creating a substrate that especially increases the performance of exotics. This supports the fluctuating resource hypothesis as a mechanism to promote biological invasions, and illustrates how this hypothesis may operate in nature. Since ant nests and exotic plants are more common in disturbed than in pristine environments, the role of ant nests in promoting biological invasions might be of particular interest. Proposals including the use of engineer species to restore disturbed habitats should be planned with caution because of their potential role in promoting invasions.

  20. An invasive plant alters phenotypic selection on the vegetative growth of a native congener.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-02-01

    The ecological consequences of plant competition have frequently been tested, but the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions have gone largely unexplored. The study of species invasions can make an important contribution to this field of research by allowing us to watch ecological and evolutionary processes unfold as a novel species is integrated into a plant community. We explored the ecological and evolutionary impact of an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a closely related native congener, I. capensis and asked: (1) Does the presence of the invasive jewelweed alter the fitness of native jewelweed populations? (2) Does the invasive jewelweed affect the vegetative growth of the native congener? and (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the vegetative traits of the native congener? We used a greenhouse competition experiment, an invasive species removal field experiment, and a survey of natural populations. We show that when the invasive jewelweed is present, phenotypic selection favors native jewelweed individuals investing less in rapid upward growth and more in branching and fruiting potential through the production of nodes. This research demonstrates that invasive plants have the potential to greatly alter natural selection on native competitors. Studies investigating altered selection in invaded communities can reveal the potential evolutionary impact of invasive competitors, while deepening our understanding of the more general role of competition in driving plant evolution and permitting species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  1. The formation of dense understory layers in the forest worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  2. The formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  3. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-03-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability.

  4. Exotic birds increase generalization and compensate for native bird decline in plant-frugivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Daniel; Martínez, Daniel; Stouffer, Daniel B; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2014-11-01

    Exotic species are thought to alter the structure of natural communities and disrupt ecosystem functioning through invasion. Nevertheless, exotic species may also provide ecological insurance when they contribute to maintain ecosystem functions after the decline of native species following anthropogenic disturbance. Here, this hypothesis is tested with the assemblage of frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants of New Zealand, which has suffered strong historical declines in native birds while simultaneously gaining new frugivores introduced by European settlers. We studied the plant-frugivore assemblage from measures of fruit and bird abundances and fruit consumption in nine forest patches, and tested how this changed across a gradient of relative abundance of exotic birds. We then examined how each bird species' role in the assemblage (the proportion of fruits and the number of plant species consumed) varied with their relative abundance, body size and native/exotic status. The more abundant and, to a lesser extent, larger birds species consumed a higher proportion of fruits from more plant species. Exotic birds consumed fruits less selectively and more proportionate to the local availability than did native species. Interaction networks in which exotic birds had a stronger role as frugivores had higher generalization, higher nestedness and higher redundancy of plants. Exotic birds maintained frugivory when native birds became rarer, and diversified the local spectrum of frugivores for co-occurring native plants. These effects seemed related to the fact that species abundances, rather than trait-matching constraints, ultimately determined the patterns of interactions between birds and plants. By altering the structure of plant-frugivore assemblages, exotic birds likely enhance the stability of the community-wide seed dispersal in the face of continued anthropogenic impact.

  5. Uptake of uranium and thorium by native and cultivated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtangeeva, I

    2010-06-01

    Large part of available literature on biogeochemistry of uranium and thorium refers to the studies performed either in highly contaminated areas or in nutrient solutions that have been artificially 'spiked' with radionuclides. Effects of background levels of natural radioactivity on soil-grown plants have not been studied to the same extent. In this paper, we summarised results of greenhouse and field experiments performed by the author from 2000 to 2006. We examined some of the factors affecting transfer of U and Th from soil to plants, differences in uptake of these radionuclides by different plants, relationships between U and Th in soil and in plants, and temporal variations of U and Th in different plant species. Concentrations of radionuclides (critical point for experimental studies on biogeochemistry of U and Th--rare trace elements in non-contaminated regions) and essential plant nutrients and trace elements were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Copyright (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Are non-native plants perceived to be more risky? Factors influencing horticulturists' risk perceptions of ornamental plant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Humair

    Full Text Available Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625 to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species.

  7. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets’ growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  8. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion.

  9. Different growth promoting effects of endophytic bacteria on invasive and native clonal plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Cong eDai

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of W. trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion.

  10. Pollination of a native plant changes with distance and density of invasive plants in a simulated biological invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2016-08-01

    Effects of an exotic plant on pollination may change as the invasive increases in density. Quantity of pollinator visits to a native may increase, decrease, or change nonlinearly, while visit quality is likely to decrease with greater interspecific pollen movement. How visit quantity and quality contribute to the effect on reproductive success at each invasion stage has not been measured. We simulated four stages of invasion by Brassica nigra by manipulating the neighborhood of potted plants of the native Phacelia parryi in a field experiment. Stages were far from the invasion, near the invasion, intermixed with the invasive at low density, and intermixed at high density. We measured pollinator visitation, conspecific and invasive pollen deposition, and seed set for P. parryi at each stage. Native individuals near invasive plants and within areas of low invasive density showed greatest seed production, as expected from concurrent changes in conspecific and invasive pollen deposition. Those plants experienced facilitation of visits and received more conspecific pollen relative to plants farther from invasives. Native individuals within high invasive density also received frequent visits by many pollinators (although not honeybees), but the larger receipt of invasive pollen predicted interference with pollen tubes that matched patterns in seed set. Pollinator visitation was highest when exotic plants were nearby. Detrimental effects of heterospecific pollen deposition were highest at high exotic density. Our study quantified how reproduction benefits from near proximity to a showy invasive, but is still vulnerable when the invasive reaches high density. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  11. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. .

  12. The invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by a native generalist: implications for the biotic resistance hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2013-01-01

    Prior studies on preferences of native herbivores for native or exotic plants have tested both the enemy release hypothesis and the biotic resistance hypothesis and have reported inconsistent results. The different levels of resistance of native and exotic plants to native herbivores could resolve this controversy, but little attention has been paid to this issue. In this study, we investigated population performance, photosynthesis, leaf nitrogen concentration, and the constitutive and induced resistances of the successful invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, and its native congener, Alternanthera sessilis, in the presence of three population densities of the grasshopper, Atractomorpha sinensis. When the grasshopper was absent, leaf biomass, total biomass, photosynthesis, and leaf nitrogen concentration of A. philoxeroides were higher than those of A. sessilis. However, the morphological and physiological performances of A. philoxeroides were all decreased more intensively than A. sessilis after herbivory by grasshoppers. Especially as the concentrations of constitutive lignin and cellulose in leaf of A. philoxeroides were higher than A. sessilis, A. philoxeroides exhibited increased leaf lignin concentration to reduce its palatability only at severe herbivore load, whereas, leaf lignin, cellulose, and polyphenolic concentrations of A. sessilis all increased with increasing herbivory pressure, and cellulose and polyphenolic concentrations were higher in A. sessilis than in A. philoxeroides after herbivory. Our study indicated that the capability of the invasive plant to respond to native insect damage was lower than the native plant, and the invasive plant was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by the native insect. Our results support the biotic resistance hypothesis and suggest that native herbivores can constrain the abundance and reduce the adverse effects of invasive species.

  13. Species-specific associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flaviana Maluf Souza

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the occurrence of associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest. We identified and measured all trees of nine canopy species with diameter at breast height ≥4.8 cm in a 10.24 ha plot and recorded all individuals beneath their canopies ("understory individuals" within the same diameter class. The total density of understory individuals did not significantly differ under different overstory species. One overstory species (Ceiba speciosa showed higher understory species richness compared with five other species. There was a strong positive association between three overstory species (Esenbeckia leiocarpa, Savia dictyocarpa, and C. speciosa and the density of seven understory species (Balfourodendron riedelianum, Chrysophyllum gonocarpum, E. leiocarpa, Holocalyx balansae, Machaerium stipitatum, Rhaminidium elaeocarpum, and S. dictyocarpa. These results probably reflect the outcome of a complex set of interactions including facilitation and competition, and further studies are necessary to better understand the magnitude and type of the effects of individual overstory species on understory species. The occurrence of species-specific associations shown here reinforces the importance of non-random processes in structuring plant communities and suggest that the influence of overstory species on understory species in high-diversity forests may be more significant than previously thought.

  14. Native plants are the bee's knees: local and landscape predictors of bee richness and abundance in backyard gardens

    OpenAIRE

    Pardee, GL; Philpott, SM

    2014-01-01

    Urban gardens may support bees by providing resources in otherwise resource-poor environments. However, it is unclear whether urban, backyard gardens with native plants will support more bees than gardens without native plants. We examined backyard gardens in northwestern Ohio to ask: 1) Does bee diversity, abundance, and community composition differ in backyard gardens with and without native plants? 2) What characteristics of backyard gardens and land cover in the surrounding landscape corr...

  15. UV Screening in Native and Non-native Plant Species in the Tropical Alpine: Implications for Climate Change-Driven Migration of Species to Higher Elevations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul W. Barnes

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ongoing changes in Earth’s climate are shifting the elevation ranges of many plant species with non-native species often experiencing greater expansion into higher elevations than native species. These climate change-induced shifts in distributions inevitably expose plants to novel biotic and abiotic environments, including altered solar ultraviolet (UV-B (280–315 nm radiation regimes. Do the greater migration potentials of non-native species into higher elevations imply that they have more effective UV-protective mechanisms than native species? In this study, we surveyed leaf epidermal UV-A transmittance (TUV A in a diversity of plant species representing different growth forms to test whether native and non-native species growing above 2800 m elevation on Mauna Kea, Hawaii differed in their UV screening capabilities. We further compared the degree to which TUV A varied along an elevation gradient in the native shrub Vaccinium reticulatum and the introduced forb Verbascum thapsus to evaluate whether these species differed in their abilities to adjust their levels of UV screening in response to elevation changes in UV-B. For plants growing in the Mauna Kea alpine/upper subalpine, we found that adaxial TUV A, measured with a UVA-PAM fluorometer, varied significantly among species but did not differ between native (mean = 6.0%; n = 8 and non-native (mean = 5.8%; n = 11 species. When data were pooled across native and non-native taxa, we also found no significant effect of growth form on TUV A, though woody plants (shrubs and trees were represented solely by native species whereas herbaceous growth forms (grasses and forbs were dominated by non-native species. Along an elevation gradient spanning 2600–3800 m, TUV A was variable (mean range = 6.0–11.2% and strongly correlated with elevation and relative biologically effective UV-B in the exotic V. thapsus; however, TUV A was consistently low (3% and did not vary with elevation in the native

  16. Rhizobacterial Community Structures Associated with Native Plants Grown in Chilean Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Milko A; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogram, Andrew V; Navarrete, Oscar U; Lagos, Lorena M; Inostroza, Nitza G; Acuña, Jacquelinne J; Rilling, Joaquín I; de La Luz Mora, María

    2016-10-01

    Chile is topographically and climatically diverse, with a wide array of diverse undisturbed ecosystems that include native plants that are highly adapted to local conditions. However, our understanding of the diversity, activity, and role of rhizobacteria associated with natural vegetation in undisturbed Chilean extreme ecosystems is very poor. In the present study, the combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing approaches was used to describe the rhizobacterial community structures of native plants grown in three representative Chilean extreme environments: Atacama Desert (ATA), Andes Mountains (AND), and Antarctic (ANT). Both molecular approaches revealed the presence of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria as the dominant phyla in the rhizospheres of native plants. Lower numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed in rhizosphere soils from ATA compared with AND and ANT. Both approaches also showed differences in rhizobacterial community structures between extreme environments and between plant species. The differences among plant species grown in the same environment were attributed to the higher relative abundance of classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. However, further studies are needed to determine which environmental factors regulate the structures of rhizobacterial communities, and how (or if) specific bacterial groups may contribute to the growth and survival of native plants in each Chilean extreme environments.

  17. Plant-soil biota interactions and spatial distribution of black cherry in its native and invasive ranges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reinhart, K.O.; Packer, A.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Clay, K.A.

    2003-01-01

    One explanation for the higher abundance of invasive species in their non-native than native ranges is the escape from natural enemies. But there are few experimental studies comparing the parallel impact of enemies (or competitors and mutualists) on a plant species in its native and invaded ranges,

  18. Soil influence on the performance of 26 native herbaceous plants suitable for sustainable Mediterranean landscaping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretzel, Francesca; Pezzarossa, Beatrice; Benvenuti, Stefano; Bravi, Alessio; Malorgio, Fernando

    2009-09-01

    Native herbaceous plants have the potential for renaturalizing and recovering derelict soils, such as urban or anthropized soils. Ecological restoration following the establishment of a native wildflower meadow should lead to a reduction in management costs and to the preservation of native plant populations. This study was aimed at determining the ecological characteristics and the cultivation needs of 26 herbaceous species native to Italy and southern Europe in order to identify their landscape potential in low-maintenance conditions. The species were selected on the basis of their adaptation to unproductive soils in semi-natural and rural areas, and on their ornamental value, including their ability to attract insects. Mono-specific plots were set up in three different soils. Seed germination, seedling emergence, flowering dynamics, and plant growth were determined. Dormancy-breaking treatments were effective in improving the germination of most species. The percentage of field establishment and biomass appeared to be affected by the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. Soil texture slightly affected seedling emergence, whereas soil texture and the C and N levels affected plant growth, the number of flowers and the duration of flowering. Dianthus carthusianorum, Verbascum blattaria, Matricaria chamomilla and Hypochoeris radicata developed a higher biomass per plant in the soils with a low nutrient content, indicating their adaptability to infertile soils. Daucus carota, Papaver rhoeas, Verbascum sinuatum, Coleostephus myconis produced a higher biomass per plant in the most fertile soil, where they appeared to show a higher potential when competing with other species. The ecological characteristics shown by the native plants are extremely important in terms of combining seeds of different species to create and to maintain semi-natural herbaceous communities in low-maintenance landscapes.

  19. Setting Priorities for Monitoring and Managing Non-native Plants: Toward a Practical Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christiane; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Overbeck, Gerhard E.; Kollmann, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Land managers face the challenge to set priorities in monitoring and managing non-native plant species, as resources are limited and not all non-natives become invasive. Existing frameworks that have been proposed to rank non-native species require extensive information on their distribution, abundance, and impact. This information is difficult to obtain and often not available for many species and regions. National watch or priority lists are helpful, but it is questionable whether they provide sufficient information for environmental management on a regional scale. We therefore propose a decision tree that ranks species based on more simple albeit robust information, but still provides reliable management recommendations. To test the decision tree, we collected and evaluated distribution data from non-native plants in highland grasslands of Southern Brazil. We compared the results with a national list from the Brazilian Invasive Species Database for the state to discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches on a regional scale. Out of 38 non-native species found, only four were also present on the national list. If management would solely rely on this list, many species that were identified as spreading based on the decision tree would go unnoticed. With the suggested scheme, it is possible to assign species to active management, to monitoring, or further evaluation. While national lists are certainly important, management on a regional scale should employ additional tools that adequately consider the actual risk of non-natives to become invasive.

  20. Native host plant resistance to whiteflies in watermelon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), notably Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), are destructive pests on a global scale. B. tabaci is highly adaptive and polyphagous on taxonomically diverse species of plants with varying levels of infestations. It is a serious pest of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus var. ...

  1. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cadena-Gonzalez, Ana Lucia; Sørensen, Marten; Theilade, Ida

    2013-01-01

    Background: Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim...... of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyaca Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers...... have no history of introduced species our working hypotheses (H1-2) were that H-1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H-2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species. Methods: Ten...

  2. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cadena-Gonzalez, Ana Lucia; Sørensen, Marten; Theilade, Ida

    2013-01-01

    Background: Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim of the pr......Background: Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim...... of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyaca Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers...

  3. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T

    2015-09-01

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant's native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium-Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems.

  4. Responses of fungal root colonization, plant cover and leaf nutrients to long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 and warming in a subarctic birch forest understory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsrud, Maria; Carlsson, Bengt Å.; Svensson, Brita M.

    2010-01-01

    Responses of the mycorrhizal fungal community in terrestrial ecosystems to global change factors are not well understood. However, virtually all land plants form symbiotic associations with mycorrhizal fungi, with approximately 20% of the plants' net primary production transported down....... To place the belowground results into an ecosystem context we also investigated how plant cover and nutrient concentrations in leaves responded to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and warming. The ErM colonization in ericaceous dwarf shrubs increased under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations......, but did not respond to warming following 6 years of treatment. This suggests that the higher ErM colonization under elevated CO2 might be due to increased transport of carbon belowground to acquire limiting resources such as N, which was diluted in leaves of ericaceous plants under enhanced CO2...

  5. A native plant competitor mediates the impact of above- and belowground damage on an invasive tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, Juli; Siemann, Evan

    2016-10-01

    Plant competition may mediate the impacts of herbivory on invasive plant species through effects on plant growth and defense. This may predictably depend on whether herbivory occurs above or below ground and on relative plant competitive ability. We simulated the potential impact of above- or belowground damage by biocontrol agents on the growth of a woody invader (Chinese tallow tree, Triadica sebifera) through artificial herbivory, with or without competition with a native grass, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). We measured two defense responses of Triadica through quantifying constitutive and induced extrafloral nectar production and tolerance of above- and belowground damage (root and shoot biomass regrowth). We examined genetic variation in plant growth and defense across native (China) and invasive (United States) Triadica populations. Without competition, aboveground damage had a greater impact than belowground damage on Triadica performance, whereas with competition and above- and belowground damage impacted Triadica similarly. Whole plant tolerance to damage below ground was negatively associated with tolerance to grass competitors indicating tradeoffs in the ability to tolerate herbivory vs. compete. Competition reduced investment in defensive extrafloral nectar (EFN) production. Aboveground damage inhibited rather than induced EFN production while belowground plant damage did not impact aboveground nectar production. We found some support for the evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis for invasive plants as United States plants were larger than native China plants and were more plastic in their response to biotic stressors than China plants (they altered their root to shoot ratios dependent on herbivory and competition treatments). Our results indicate that habitat type and the presence of competitors may be a larger determinant of herbivory impact than feeding mode and suggest that integrated pest management strategies including

  6. Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelbert, Kim; Stott, Iain; Mcdonald, Robbie A.;

    2015-01-01

    An important goal for invasive species research is to find key traits of species that predispose them to being invasive outside their native range. Comparative studies have revealed phenotypic and demographic traits that correlate with invasiveness among plants. However, all but a few previous st...

  7. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  8. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  9. Chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of native and invasive populations of the range expanding invasive plant Rorippa austriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huberty, Martine; Tielbörger, Katja; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Müller, Caroline; Macel, Mirka

    2014-04-01

    Due to global warming, species are expanding their range to higher latitudes. Some range expanding plants have become invasive in their new range. The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis and the Shifting Defense Hypothesis (SDH) predict altered selection on plant defenses in the introduced range of invasive plants due to changes in herbivore pressures and communities. Here, we investigated chemical defenses (glucosinolates) of five native and seven invasive populations of the Eurasian invasive range expanding plant, Rorippa austriaca. Further, we studied feeding preferences of a generalist and a specialist herbivore among the populations. We detected eight glucosinolates in the leaves of R. austriaca. 8-Methylsulfinyloctyl glucosinolate was the most abundant glucosinolate in all plants. There were no overall differences between native and invasive plants in concentrations of glucosinolates. However, concentrations among populations within each range differed significantly. Feeding preference between the populations by a generalist herbivore was negatively correlated with glucosinolate concentrations. Feeding by a specialist did not differ between the populations and was not correlated with glucosinolates. Possibly, local differences in herbivore communities within each range may explain the differences in concentrations of glucosinolates among populations. Little support for the predictions of the EICA hypothesis or the SDH was found for the glucosinolate defenses of the studied native and invasive R. austriaca populations.

  10. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  11. Competitive interactions between native and invasive exotic plant species are altered under elevated carbon dioxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manea, Anthony; Leishman, Michelle R

    2011-03-01

    We hypothesized that the greater competitive ability of invasive exotic plants relative to native plants would increase under elevated CO(2) because they typically have traits that confer the ability for fast growth when resources are not limiting and thus are likely to be more responsive to elevated CO(2). A series of competition experiments under ambient and elevated CO(2) glasshouse conditions were conducted to determine an index of relative competition intensity for 14 native-invasive exotic species-pairs. Traits including specific leaf area, leaf mass ratio, leaf area ratio, relative growth rate, net assimilation rate and root weight ratio were measured. Competitive rankings within species-pairs were not affected by CO(2) concentration: invasive exotic species were more competitive in 9 of the 14 species-pairs and native species were more competitive in the remaining 5 species-pairs, regardless of CO(2) concentration. However, there was a significant interaction between plant type and CO(2) treatment due to reduced competitive response of native species under elevated compared with ambient CO(2) conditions. Native species had significantly lower specific leaf area and leaf area ratio under elevated compared with ambient CO(2). We also compared traits of more-competitive with less-competitive species, regardless of plant type, under both CO(2) treatments. More-competitive species had smaller leaf weight ratio and leaf area ratio, and larger relative growth rate and net assimilation rate under both ambient and elevated CO(2) conditions. These results suggest that growth and allocation traits can be useful predictors of the outcome of competitive interactions under both ambient and elevated CO(2) conditions. Under predicted future atmospheric CO(2) conditions, competitive rankings among species may not change substantially, but the relative success of invasive exotic species may be increased. Thus, under future atmospheric CO(2) conditions, the ecological and

  12. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naupari, Javier A.; Vierling, Lee A.; Eitel, Jan U. H.

    2013-01-01

    Delineating invasive and native plant types using remote sensing is important for managing rangelands. Remote characterization of rangeland vegetation often utilizes only the nadir view, which can be complicated by background soil reflectance. We therefore collected bidirectional radiometric measurements on a shrub-steppe vegetated landscape throughout the mid- to late-growing season to: (1) quantify the BRFs of four rangeland vegetation functional groups (native shrub, native grasses, invasive annual grasses, and forbs), and (2) examine ways in which bidirectional reflectance values may help delineate native and invasive vegetation types. We found that the invasive grass medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) could be discriminated from other vegetation types at nadir and across four forward-viewing zenith angles because this species exhibited structural changes when leaf orientation changed from erectophile to planophile during and after the filling of seedheads. We also confirmed that native shrubs exhibited the highest anisotropy in all wavebands, as the relatively complex structure of the shrub canopy and concomitant shadowing greatly affected values of normalized difference vegetation index across all view angles. In order to delineate rangeland vegetation types at coarser scales, further study is needed to quantify the spectral angular signatures of these plant groups using satellite-based images.

  13. Growth form and distribution of introduced plants in their native and non-native ranges in Eastern Asia and North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Ricklefs; Qinfeng Guo; Hong Qian

    2008-01-01

    There is a growing interest in understanding the influence of plant traits on their ability to spread in non-native regions. Many studies addressing this issue have been based on relatively small areas or restricted taxonomic groups. Here, we analyse a large data base involving 1567 plant species introduced between Eastern Asia and North America or from elsewhere to...

  14. Combined effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas and light on water uptake of the neotropical understory shrubs, Piper and Psychotria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damond A. Kyllo; Virginia Velez; Melvin T. Tyree

    2003-01-01

    Root hydraulic conductance (Kr) was measured for five understory shrub species of the neotropical moist forest to determine the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) for both carbon-rich and carbon-limited host plants.

  15. Native plant recovery in study plots after fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) control on Santa Cruz Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Paula; Stanley, Thomas R.; Cowan, Clark; Robertson, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the California Channel Islands and supports a diverse and unique flora which includes 9 federally listed species. Sheep, cattle, and pigs, introduced to the island in the mid-1800s, disturbed the soil, browsed native vegetation, and facilitated the spread of exotic invasive plants. Recent removal of introduced herbivores on the island led to the release of invasive fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which expanded to become the dominant vegetation in some areas and has impeded the recovery of some native plant communities. In 2007, Channel Islands National Park initiated a program to control fennel using triclopyr on the eastern 10% of the island. We established replicate paired plots (seeded and nonseeded) at Scorpion Anchorage and Smugglers Cove, where notably dense fennel infestations (>10% cover) occurred, to evaluate the effectiveness of native seed augmentation following fennel removal. Five years after fennel removal, vegetative cover increased as litter and bare ground cover decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) on both plot types. Vegetation cover of both native and other (nonfennel) exotic species increased at Scorpion Anchorage in both seeded and nonseeded plots. At Smugglers Cove, exotic cover decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) as native cover comprised of Eriogonum arborescensand Leptosyne gigantea increased significantly (P < 0.0001) in seeded plots only. Nonseeded plots at Smugglers Cove were dominated by exotic annual grasses, primarily Avena barbata. The data indicate that seeding with appropriate native seed is a critical step in restoration following fennel control in areas where the native seed bank is depauperate.

  16. Plant growth-promoting effects of native Pseudomonas strains on Mentha piperita (peppermint): an in vitro study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, M V; Cappellari, L R; Giordano, W; Banchio, E

    2015-11-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) affect growth of host plants through various direct and indirect mechanisms. Three native PGPR (Pseudomonas putida) strains isolated from rhizospheric soil of a Mentha piperita (peppermint) crop field near Córdoba, Argentina, were characterised and screened in vitro for plant growth-promoting characteristics, such as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, phosphate solubilisation and siderophore production, effects of direct inoculation on plant growth parameters (shoot fresh weight, root dry weight, leaf number, node number) and accumulation and composition of essential oils. Each of the three native strains was capable of phosphate solubilisation and IAA production. Only strain SJ04 produced siderophores. Plants directly inoculated with the native PGPR strains showed increased shoot fresh weight, glandular trichome number, ramification number and root dry weight in comparison with controls. The inoculated plants had increased essential oil yield (without alteration of essential oil composition) and biosynthesis of major essential oil components. Native strains of P. putida and other PGPR have clear potential as bio-inoculants for improving productivity of aromatic crop plants. There have been no comparative studies on the role of inoculation with native strains on plant growth and secondary metabolite production (specially monoterpenes). Native bacterial isolates are generally preferable for inoculation of crop plants because they are already adapted to the environment and have a competitive advantage over non-native strains. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. Allelopathic effect of a native species on a major plant invader in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christina, Mathias; Rouifed, Soraya; Puijalon, Sara; Vallier, Félix; Meiffren, Guillaume; Bellvert, Floriant; Piola, Florence

    2015-04-01

    Biological invasions have become a major global issue in ecosystem conservation. As formalized in the "novel weapon hypothesis", the allelopathic abilities of species are actively involved in invasion success. Here, we assume that allelopathy can also increase the biotic resistance of native species against invasion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the impact of the native species Sambucus ebulus on the colonization of propagules of the invasive species Fallopia x bohemica and the subsequent development of plants from these. Achenes and rhizome fragments from two natural populations were grown in a greenhouse experiment for 50 days. We used an experimental design that involved "donor" and "target" pots in order to separate resource competition from allelopathy. An allelopathic treatment effect was observed for plant growth but not for propagule establishment. Treatment affected, in particular, the growth of Fallopia plants originating from achenes, but there was less influence on plants originating from rhizomes. By day 50, shoot height had decreased by 27 % for plants originating from rhizomes and by 38 % for plants originating from achenes. The number of leaves for plants originating from achenes had only decreased by 20 %. Leaf and above- and below-ground dry masses decreased with treatment by 40, 41 and 25 % for plants originating from rhizomes and 70, 61 and 55 % for plants originating from achenes, respectively. S. ebulus extracts were analysed using high-performance chromatography, and the choice of test molecules was narrowed down. Our results suggest native species use allelopathy as a biotic containment mechanism against the naturalization of invasive species.

  18. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects o...

  19. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  20. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae outbreak in pine forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory J Pec

    Full Text Available The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  1. Changes in the trade in native medicinal plants in Brazilian public markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandão, Maria das Graças Lins; Cosenza, Gustavo Pereira; Pereira, Flávia Liparini; Vasconcelos, Ariela Silva; Fagg, Christopher William

    2013-08-01

    Plants continue to be an important source of new bioactive substances. Brazil is one of the world's mega-diverse countries, with 20 % of the world's flora. However, the accelerated destruction of botanically rich ecosystems has contributed to a gradual loss of native medicinal species. In previous study, we have observed a fast and intensive change in trade of medicinal plants in an area of Amazon, where human occupation took place. In this study, we surveyed 15 public markets in different parts of Brazil in search of samples of 40 plants used in traditional medicine and present in first edition of Brazilian Official Pharmacopoeia (FBRAS), published in 1926. Samples of plants commercialized as the same vernacular name as in Pharmacopoeia were acquired and submitted to analysis for authentication. A total of 252 plant samples were purchased, but the laboratory analyses showed that only one-half of the samples (126, 50.2 %) were confirmed as the same plant species so named in FBRAS. The high number of unauthenticated samples demonstrates a loss of knowledge of the original native species. The proximity of the market from areas in which the plant occurs does not guarantee that trade of false samples occurs. The impact of the commerce of the substitute species on their conservation and in public health is worrying. Strategies are necessary to promote the better use and conservation of this rich heritage offered by Brazilian biodiversity.

  2. Seasonal acclimation to light and temperature in an evergreen understory shrub

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muller, Onno

    2005-01-01

    Evergreens in temperate regions often maintain leaves longer than one year. These leaves are exposed to large changes in temperature with the seasons. If plants are growing in the understory of a deciduous forest the light intensity also changes strongly over the year. In summer the plants in the u

  3. Screening of As-accumulating plants using a foliar application and a native accumulation of As.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z; Sugawara, K; Hatayama, M; Huang, Y; Inoue, Chihiro

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of novel accumulating plants is useful for efficient phytoremediation due to the demands of various conditions of impacted sites such as land use, soil properties, concentration of pollutants, and climate. In the present study, we investigated foliar application or a field with highly bioavailable arsenic (As) to screen As-accumulating plants. Plants grown in the downstream of a hot springs area were analyzed for native As accumulation and As foliar application, and the rhizosphere soils were collected. The water-soluble As in the rhizosphere soils had a high average, 144 microg/kg, whereas total As was similar to normal soil in Japan. Among 34 herbaceous plants and 17 woody plants, Chelidonium majus var. asiaticum accumulated a relatively high As level, 8.07 mg/kg DW (93.6% of As added), that was not revealed by native accumulation. In a further pot experiment, C. majus accumulated a moderately high As level (314 mg/kg DW) in the roots but not in the shoot (30.1 mg/kg DW), and exhibited a low transfer factor (TF = 0.096). Thus, a foliar application would be a simple and high-throughput method to screen plants that accumulate and tolerate As. C. majus would be useful as a tool for phytostabilization of As.

  4. Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Huerd, Sheri C.; Larson, Diane L.; Muehlbauer, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species can produce biofuels, support sustainable grazing systems, and produce other ecosystem services. However, ecosystem service production can be disrupted by invasion of exotic perennial plants, and these plants can have soil-microbial “legacies” that may interfere with establishment and maintenance of diversified grasslands even after effective management of the invasive species. The nature of such legacies is not well understood, but may involve suppression of mutualisms between native species and soil microbes. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that legacy effects of invasive species change colonization rates, diversity, and composition of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with seedlings of co-occurring invasive and native grassland species. In a glasshouse, experimental soils were conditioned by cultivating three invasive grassland perennials, three native grassland perennials, and a native perennial mixture. Each was grown separately through three cycles of growth, after which we used T-RFLP analysis to characterize AMF associations of seedlings of six native perennial and six invasive perennial species grown in these soils. Legacy effects of soil conditioning by invasive species did not affect AMF richness in seedling roots, but did affect AMF colonization rates and the taxonomic composition of mycorrhizal associations in seedling roots. Moreover, native species were more heavily colonized by AMF and roots of native species had greater AMF richness (number of AMF operational taxonomic units per seedling) than did invasive species. The invasive species used to condition soil in this experiment have been shown to have legacy effects on biomass of native seedlings, reducing their growth in this and a previous similar experiment. Therefore, our results suggest that successful plant invaders can have legacies that affect soil-microbial associations of native plants and that these effects

  5. Uptake of uranium by native aquatic plants: potential for bioindication and phytoremediation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favas P. J. C.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The work presented here is a part the on going study on the uraniferous geochemical province of Central Portugal in which, the use of aquatic plants as indicators of uranium contamination is being probed using aquatic plants emphasizing their potential use in the emerging phytotechnologies. Even though we have observed very low concentration of U in the fresh waters of the studied sites we found a set of vegetable species with the ability to accumulate U in concentrations which are orders of magnitude higher than the surrounding environment. We have observed that Apium nodiflorum, Callitriche stagnalis, Lemna minor and Fontinalis antipyretica accumulated significant amounts of uranium, whereas Oenanthe crocata excluded U. These results indicate substantial scope for proper radiophytoremediation and phytosociological investigation exploiting the native flora. These species show great potential for phytoremediation because they are endemic and easy to grow in their native conditions. A. nodiflorum and C. stagnalis have high bioproductivity and yield good biomass.

  6. Screening biological traits and fluoride contents of native vegetations in arid environments to select efficiently fluoride-tolerant native plant species for in-situ phytoremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukhris, Asma; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle; Mezghani, Imed; El Kadri, Lefi; Prudent, Pascale; Pricop, Anca; Tatoni, Thierry; Chaieb, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    High fluoride pollution has been detected in the surrounding soils of the coastal superphosphate industries in the Gulf of Gabes (Southeast of Tunisia). A study was conducted in vicinity of factories analysing plant functional traits combined with plant fluoride accumulation and soil metal concentrations aiming to screen more efficiently native plant species tolerant to this pollution. Aerial parts of 18 plant species out of the 10 most abundant species per site were harvested on two polluted sites of Gabes and Skhira at the vicinity of the factories and on the less polluted site of Smara. Native plant species accumulated fluoride following the gradient of soil pollution. Fluoride contents of plant aerial parts ranged from 37 mg kg(-1) to 360 mg kg(-1) and five plant species were only found in the most polluted site. However these latter had low biomass and soil cover. Crossing biological traits and fluoride contents, a selection grid for potentially restorative plant species enabled the selection of three native perennials i.e. Rhanterium suaveolens, Atractylis serratuloides and, Erodium glaucophyllum as potential candidates for an in-situ phytoremediation program on arid fluoride-polluted sites. This approach may be used in other fluoride-polluted Mediterranean environments.

  7. Archaea and bacteria mediate the effects of native species root loss on fungi during plant invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamet, Steven D; Lamb, Eric G; Piper, Candace L; Winsley, Tristrom; Siciliano, Steven D

    2017-05-01

    Although invasive plants can drive ecosystem change, little is known about the directional nature of belowground interactions between invasive plants, native roots, bacteria, archaea and fungi. We used detailed bioinformatics and a recently developed root assay on soils collected in fescue grassland along a gradient of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) invasion to examine the links between smooth brome shoot litter and root, archaea, bacteria and fungal communities. We examined (1) aboveground versus belowground influences of smooth brome on soil microbial communities, (2) the importance of direct versus microbe-mediated impacts of plants on soil fungal communities, and (3) the web of roots, shoots, archaea, bacteria and fungi interactions across the A and B soil horizons in invaded and non-invaded sites. Archaea and bacteria influenced fungal composition, but not vice versa, as indicated by redundancy analyses. Co-inertia analyses suggested that bacterial-fungal variance was driven primarily by 12 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Brome increased bacterial diversity via smooth brome litter in the A horizon and roots in the B horizon, which then reduced fungal diversity. Archaea increased abundance of several bacterial OTUs, and the key bacterial OTUs mediated changes in the fungi's response to invasion. Overall, native root diversity loss and bacterial mediation were more important drivers of fungal composition than were the direct effects of increases in smooth brome. Critically, native plant species displacement and root loss appeared to be the most important driver of fungal composition during invasion. This causal web likely gives rise to the plant-fungi feedbacks, which are an essential factor determining plant diversity in invaded grassland ecosystems.

  8. Screening of native plant species for phytoremediation potential at a Hg-contaminated mining site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2016-01-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury (Hg), and therefore, one of the major sources of Hg pollution in the environment. This study was conducted in the Alacrán gold-mining site, one of the most important ASGM sites in Colombia, to identify native plant species growing in Hg-contaminated soils used for agricultural purposes, and to assess their potential as phytoremediation systems. Twenty-four native plant species were identified and analysed for total Hg (THg) in different tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) and in underlying soils. Accumulation factors (AF) in the shoots, translocation (TF) from roots to shoots, and bioconcentration (BCF) from soil-to-roots were determined. Different tissues from all plant species were classified in the order of decreasing accumulation of Hg as follows: roots > leaves > stems. THg concentrations in soil ranged from 230 to 6320 ng g(-1). TF values varied from 0.33 to 1.73, with high values in the lower Hg-contaminated soils. No correlation was found between soils with low concentrations of Hg and plant leaves, indicating that TF is not a very accurate indicator, since most of the Hg input to leaves at ASGM sites comes from the atmosphere. On the other hand, the BCF ranged from 0.28 to 0.99, with Jatropha curcas showing the highest value. Despite their low biomass production, several herbs and sub-shrubs are suitable for phytoremediation application in the field, due to their fast growth and high AF values in large and easily harvestable plant parts. Among these species, herbs such as Piper marginathum and Stecherus bifidus, and the sub-shrubs J. curcas and Capsicum annuum are promising native plants with the potential to be used in the phytoremediation of soils in tropical areas that are impacted by mining.

  9. Persistence of native and exotic plants 10 years after prairie reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.; Bright, J. B.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Jennifer L.; Vacek, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Prairie reconstructions are a critical component of preservation of the imperiled tallgrass prairie ecosystem in the Midwestern United States. Sustainability of this endeavor depends on establishment of persistent cover of planted native species and resistance to noxious weeds. The goal of this study was to understand the influence of early reconstruction practices on long-term outcomes. Twelve replicates of three planting methods (dormant-season broadcast, growing-season broadcast, and growing-season drill) and three seed mix richness levels (10, 20, or 34 species), fully crossed in a completely randomized design were planted in 2005 on nine former agricultural fields located in Iowa and Minnesota. Cover by species was estimated in 2005–2007, 2010, and 2015. In 2015, cover of planted species, native nonplanted species, and exotic species were similar to those recorded in 2010. Cover of the noxious weed Cirsium arvense had also declined by an average of 49% without herbicide from a peak in 2007 to low stable levels from 2010 to 2015. Richness of planted forbs, on the other hand, were still increasing in high-richness broadcast treatments (e.g. 17–59% increase 2010–1015 in Minnesota). Two results in 2015 are reasons for concern: cover of planted species is only slightly over 50% in both Minnesota and Iowa, though with forbs still increasing, this may improve; and the cool-season exotic grasses Poa pratensis and Bromus inermis are increasing at both Minnesota and Iowa sites. Control of these invasive grasses will be necessary, but care will be needed to avoid negative impacts of control methods on natives.

  10. When there is no escape: the effects of natural enemies on native, invasive, and noninvasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Ingrid M; Gilbert, Gregory S

    2007-05-01

    An important question in the study of biological invasions is the degree to which successful invasion can be explained by release from control by natural enemies. Natural enemies dominate explanations of two alternate phenomena: that most introduced plants fail to establish viable populations (biotic resistance hypothesis) and that some introduced plants become noxious invaders (natural enemies hypothesis). We used a suite of 18 phylogenetically related native and nonnative clovers (Trifolium and Medicago) and the foliar pathogens and invertebrate herbivores that attack them to answer two questions. Do native species suffer greater attack by natural enemies relative to introduced species at the same site? Are some introduced species excluded from native plant communities because they are susceptible to local natural enemies? We address these questions using three lines of evidence: (1) the frequency of attack and composition of fungal pathogens and herbivores for each clover species in four years of common garden experiments, as well as susceptibility to inoculation with a common pathogen; (2) the degree of leaf damage suffered by each species in common garden experiments; and (3) fitness effects estimated using correlative approaches and pathogen removal experiments. Introduced species showed no evidence of escape from pathogens, being equivalent to native species as a group in terms of infection levels, susceptibility, disease prevalence, disease severity (with more severe damage on introduced species in one year), the influence of disease on mortality, and the effect of fungicide treatment on mortality and biomass. In contrast, invertebrate herbivores caused more damage on native species in two years, although the influence of herbivore attack on mortality did not differ between native and introduced species. Within introduced species, the predictions of the biotic resistance hypothesis were not supported: the most invasive species showed greater infection

  11. Knowledge, use and management of native wild edible plants from a seasonal dry forest (NE, Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Margarita Paloma; Peroni, Nivaldo; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2013-11-26

    Despite being an ancient practice that satisfies basic human needs, the use of wild edible plants tends to be forgotten along with associated knowledge in rural communities. The objective of this work is to analyze existing relationships between knowledge, use, and management of native wild edible plants and socioeconomic factors such as age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation. The field work took place between 2009 and 2010 in the community of Carão, Altinho municipality, in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 members of the community regarding knowledge, use and management of 14 native wild edible plants from the Caatinga region, corresponding to 12 vegetable species. In parallel, we documented the socioeconomic aspects of the interviewed population (age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation). Knowledge about edible plants was related to age but not to current occupation or use. Current use was not associated with age, gender or occupation. The association between age and past use may indicate abandonment of these resources. Because conservation of the species is not endangered by their use but by deforestation of the ecosystems in which these plants grow, we suggest that the promotion and consumption of the plants by community members is convenient and thereby stimulates the appropriation and consequent protection of the ecosystem. To promote consumption of these plants, it is important to begin by teaching people about plant species that can be used for their alimentation, disproving existing myths about plant use, and encouraging diversification of use by motivating the invention of new preparation methods. An example of how this can be achieved is through events like the "Preserves Festival".

  12. Honeybees increase fruit set in native plant species important for wildlife conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wild cherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  13. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  14. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  15. The compensatory responses of an understory herb to experimental damage are habitat-dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz Nogueira

    2005-12-01

    Canopy gap formation strongly influences the diversity and dynamics of both tropical and temperate forests. It is often viewed as inherently beneficial for understory plants, primarily because growth and flowering are enhanced when light is no longer a limiting resource. It can also be detrimental, however, because plants can be damaged by falling crowns or branches. To elucidate the responses of the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata to damage sustained during gap formation, we transplanted both experimentally damaged and control plants to canopy gaps and the forest understory. We then measured their patterns of growth and biomass allocation 10 mo later. Despite losing approximately 50% of their leaf area, all damaged plants survived the duration of our experiment. Furthermore, damaged plants transplanted to gaps had relative growth rates that far exceeded those of undamaged plants in both gaps and the forest understory. There were also significant interactions between damage and destination habitat type on root to shoot ratios and leaf-area ratios. Our results suggest the ability of herbaceous plants to recover from damage, as well as patterns of post-damage biomass allocation, may be habitat-dependent in ways that have previously remained unexplored.

  16. Can resource-use traits predict native vs. exotic plant success in carbon amended soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steers, Robert J; Funk, Jennifer L; Allen, Edith B

    2011-06-01

    Productivity in desert ecosystems is primarily limited by water followed by nitrogen availability. In the deserts of southern California, nitrogen additions have increased invasive annual plant abundance. Similar findings from other ecosystems have led to a general acceptance that invasive plants, especially annual grasses, are nitrophilous. Consequently, reductions of soil nitrogen via carbon amendments have been conducted by many researchers in a variety of ecosystems in order to disproportionately lower invasive species abundance, but with mixed success. Recent studies suggest that resource-use traits may predict the efficacy of such resource manipulations; however, this theory remains largely untested. We report findings from a carbon amendment experiment that utilized two levels of sucrose additions that were aimed at achieving soil carbon to nitrogen ratios of 50:1 and 100:1 in labile sources. Carbon amendments were applied once each year, for three years, corresponding with the first large precipitation event of each wet season. Plant functional traits measured on the three invasive and 11 native herbaceous species that were most common at the study site showed that exotic and native species did not differ in traits associated with nitrogen use. In fact, plant abundance measures such as density, cover, and biomass showed that carbon amendments were capable of decreasing both native and invasive species. We found that early-germinating species were the most impacted by decreased soil nitrogen resulting from amendments. Because invasive annuals typically germinate earlier and exhibit a rapid phenology compared to most natives, these species are expected to be more competitive than native annuals yet more susceptible to early-season carbon amendments. However, desert annual communities can exhibit high interannual variability in species composition and abundance. Therefore, the relative abundance of native and invasive species at the time of application is

  17. Arsenic accumulation in native plants of West Bengal, India: prospects for phytoremediation but concerns with the use of medicinal plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Preeti; Dwivedi, Sanjay; Mishra, Aradhana; Kumar, Amit; Dave, Richa; Srivastava, Sudhakar; Shukla, Mridul Kumar; Srivastava, Pankaj Kumar; Chakrabarty, Debasis; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar; Tripathi, Rudra Deo

    2012-05-01

    Arsenic (As) is a widespread environmental and food chain contaminant and class I, non-threshold carcinogen. Plants accumulate As due to ionic mimicry that is of importance as a measure of phytoremediation but of concern due to the use of plants in alternative medicine. The present study investigated As accumulation in native plants including some medicinal plants, from three districts [Chinsurah (Hoogly), Porbosthali (Bardhman), and Birnagar (Nadia)] of West Bengal, India, having a history of As pollution. A site-specific response was observed for Specific Arsenic Uptake (SAU; mg kg(-1) dw) in total number of 13 (8 aquatic and 5 terrestrial) collected plants. SAU was higher in aquatic plants (5-60 mg kg(-1) dw) than in terrestrial species (4-19 mg kg(-1) dw). The level of As was lower in medicinal plants (MPs) than in non-medicinal plants, however it was still beyond the WHO permissible limit (1 mg kg(-1) dw). The concentration of other elements (Cu, Zn, Se, and Pb) was found to be within prescribed limits in medicinal plants (MP). Among the aquatic plants, Marsilea showed the highest SAU (avg. 45 mg kg(-1) dw), however, transfer factor (TF) of As was the maximum in Centella asiatica (MP, avg. 1). Among the terrestrial plants, the maximum SAU and TF were demonstrated by Alternanthera ficoidea (avg. 15) and Phyllanthus amarus (MP, avg. 1.27), respectively. In conclusion, the direct use of MP or their by products for humans should not be practiced without proper regulation. In other way, one fern species (Marsilea) and some aquatic plants (Eichhornia crassipes and Cyperus difformis) might be suitable candidates for As phytoremediation of paddy fields.

  18. Do ungulates facilitate native and exotic plant spread? Seed dispersal by cattle, elk and deer in northeastern Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne M. Bartuszevige; Bryan A. Endress

    2008-01-01

    Large domestic and native ungulates have the potential to disperse large quantities of seeds throughout the landscape. Many studies have found that ungulates are capable of dispersing seeds but few quantify the relative importance of ungulate dispersal across the landscape. We investigated the potential for cattle, elk, and deer to disperse native and exotic plants in...

  19. Plant characteristics associated with natural enemy abundance at Michigan native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, A K; Landis, D A

    2007-08-01

    Habitat management is a type of conservation biological control that focuses on increasing natural enemy populations by providing them with plant resources such as pollen and nectar. Insects are known to respond to a variety of plant characteristics in their search for plant-provided resources. A better understanding of the specific characteristics used by natural enemy insects in selecting these resources could greatly improve efficiency in screening plants for habitat management. We examined 5 previously tested and widely recommended resource plants and 43 candidate plants to test whether the number and type of natural enemies and herbivores at each plant were predicted by plant characteristics including: period of peak bloom, floral area, maximum flower height, hue, chroma, and corolla size. Natural enemy abundance increased with week of peak bloom and greater floral area across all plants tested. Ordination of plant characteristics indicated that increasing floral area, period of peak bloom, maximum flower height, and decreasing corolla width grouped together into a single principal component. Both natural enemy and herbivore abundance increased significantly with the principal component for this set of characteristics, but the relationship with herbivore abundance was weaker. These results indicate that, for a given time of the season, selection of plants with the largest floral area has potential to increase natural enemy abundance in habitat management plantings and streamline plant selection for habitat management.

  20. 施氮磷肥对杉木人工林3种林下植物养分动态及化学计量比的影响%Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilization on Nutrient Dynamics and Stoichiometric Ratios of Three-Understory Plants in Chinese Fir Plantation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王艳; 胡小飞; 王方超; 张宇飞; 陈少凤

    2016-01-01

    Understory plants have important function in the ecological system. However, the influence of fertilization on the understory,especially the effect of phosphorus (P) input,which alters the influence of nitro⁃gen ( N) deposition in a forest has seldom reported. A typical Chinese fir plantation was selected as the re⁃search object in a subtropical forest.Five replications were established on five separate hilly slopes,and four treatments with nitrogen addition,phosphorus addition,both N with P addition and a control plot were randomly arranged within each replication. The leafs of three dominant understory plants were collected including two herbs and one shrub in their growing season and non⁃growing season 3 years after the field experiment of nitro⁃gen and andphosphorus addition.The nutrient dynamic change of the understory plant leaves was measured by determining its nutrient content, and the effect of fertilizer on nutrient dynamic was analyzed. The results showed that nitrogen addition increased plant N concentrations,by 18% for Cibotium barometz,25.4% for Di⁃cranopteris dichotoma and 19.6% for Adinandra millettii.Phosphorus addition increased plant P concentrations, by 31.1% for Cibotium barometz,33. 9% for Dicranopteris dichotoma and 11. 9% for Adinandra millettii. The content of P in plant tissues was the major driver for N∶P alteration.Nitrogen addition decreased the gap of the understory plant leaf nutrient content between the growing season and the non⁃growing season,phosphorus ad⁃dition decreased the gap of understory plant leaf nutrient content between the growing season and the non⁃grow⁃ing season,while N+P addition had no significantly effect on the gap of understory plant leaf nutrient content between the growing season and the non⁃growing season. In conclusion,in the ecological system relatively lac⁃king,P addition P is favourable to the stability of plant N/P ratio,and the control of the resource allocation of understory

  1. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  2. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-06-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica.

  3. Native Michigan plants stimulate soil microbial species changes and PAH remediation at a legacy steel mill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, John C; Cable, Edward; Dabkowski, Robert T; Gargala, Stephanie; McCall, Daniel; Pangrazzi, Garett; Pierson, Adam; Ripper, Mark; Russell, Donald K; Rugh, Clayton L

    2013-01-01

    A 1.3-acre phytoremediation site was constructed to mitigate polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination from a former steel mill in Michigan. Soil was amended with 10% (v/v) compost and 5% (v/v) poultry litter. The site was divided into twelve 11.89 m X 27.13 m plots, planted with approximately 35,000 native Michigan perennials, and soils sampled for three seasons. Soil microbial density generally increased in subplots of Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset), Aster novae-angliae (New England aster), Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), and Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) versus unplanted subplots. Using enumeration assays with root exudates, PAH degrading bacteria were greatest in soils beneath plants. Initially predominant, Arthrobacter were found capable of degrading a PAH cocktail in vitro, especially upon the addition of root exudate. Growth of some Arthrobacter isolates was stimulated by root exudate. The frequency of Arthrobacter declined in planted subplots with a concurrent increase in other species, including secondary PAH degraders Bacillus and Nocardioides. In subplots supporting only weeds, an increase in Pseudomonas density and little PAH removal were observed. This study supports the notion that a dynamic interplay between the soil, bacteria, and native plant root secretions likely contributes to in situ PAH phytoremediation.

  4. The potential of novel native plant materials for the restoration of novel ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.A. Jones

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Extensive ecological change has been sustained by many dryland ecosystems throughout the world, resulting in conversion to so-called novel ecosystems. It is within such ecological contexts that native plant materials destined for ecological applications must be able to function. In the Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis [Beetle & A.M. Young] S.L. Welsh ecosystems of the Intermountain West, for example, novel ecosystem structure and functioning are pervasive. Invasive species, particularly annual grasses, fuel repeated wildfires that drive previously stable ecosystem states across thresholds to less desirable states that are highly recalcitrant to restoration efforts. Structural changes include reductions of native flora, damage to biological soil crusts, and alterations to soil microbiota. Functional changes include altered hydrologic and nutrient cycling, leading to permanent losses of soil organic matter and nitrogen that favor the invaders. We argue that there is an important place in restoration for plant materials that are novel and/or non-local that have been developed to be more effective in the novel ecosystems for which they are intended, thus qualifying them as “ecologically appropriate.” Such plant materials may be considered as an alternative to natural/local “genetically appropriate” plant materials, which are sometimes deemed best adapted due to vetting by historical evolutionary processes.

  5. Determinants of plant establishment success in a multispecies introduction experiment with native and alien species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempel, Anne; Chrobock, Thomas; Fischer, Markus; Rohr, Rudolf Philippe; van Kleunen, Mark

    2013-07-30

    Determinants of plant establishment and invasion are a key issue in ecology and evolution. Although establishment success varies substantially among species, the importance of species traits and extrinsic factors as determinants of establishment in existing communities has remained difficult to prove in observational studies because they can be confounded and mask each other. Therefore, we conducted a large multispecies field experiment to disentangle the relative importance of extrinsic factors vs. species characteristics for the establishment success of plants in grasslands. We introduced 48 alien and 45 native plant species at different seed numbers into multiple grassland sites with or without experimental soil disturbance and related their establishment success to species traits assessed in five independent multispecies greenhouse experiments. High propagule pressure and high seed mass were the most important factors increasing establishment success in the very beginning of the experiment. However, after 3 y, propagule pressure became less important, and species traits related to biotic interactions (including herbivore resistance and responses to shading and competition) became the most important drivers of success or failure. The relative importance of different traits was environment-dependent and changed over time. Our approach of combining a multispecies introduction experiment in the field with trait data from independent multispecies experiments in the greenhouse allowed us to detect the relative importance of species traits for early establishment and provided evidence that species traits--fine-tuned by environmental factors--determine success or failure of alien and native plants in temperate grasslands.

  6. Identifying and ascribing the relative significance of introduction pathways for non-native plants into Iceland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wasowicz Pawel

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The study is aimed at identifying pathways frequently used by non-native plant species, assessing their relative significance and development in time. Pathways were defined following NOBANIS framework (Madsen et al., 2014. Species assessments were based on HARMONIA scheme (Branquart, 2007. Four categories of environmental hazards were assessed plus two additional categories summarizing impacts on health and economy. Temporal development of pathways was assessed using cumulative per annum taxa records. To quantify the activity of investigated pathways over time an index (δ10 showing the number of new species introduced during the period of 10 years was calculated. The study shows that horticulture, landscaping and agriculture can be pointed out as pathways of concern in Iceland. A set of species of concern is also proposed. Two plant taxa are included in A list (high risk species: Anthriscus sylvestis and Lupinus nootkatensis. Three taxa are placed in B list (watch list: Heracleum mantegazzianum, Heracleum persicum and Pinus contorta. Results of the present study are compared with similar studies carried out in Denmark, Scandinavia and Baltic countries. Different measures to prevent introductions of new and potentially dangerous non-native species are also discussed including selection of good practices that may significantly reduce the threat from non-native species used in agriculture and horticulture.

  7. Exotic weeds and fluctuating microclimate can constrain native plant regeneration in urban forest restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, K J; Laughlin, Daniel C; Clarkson, Bruce D

    2017-02-09

    Restoring forest structure and composition is an important component of urban land management, but we lack clear understanding of the mechanisms driving restoration success. Here we studied two indicators of restoration success in temperate rainforests: native tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization. We hypothesized that ecosystem properties such as forest canopy openness, abundance of exotic herbaceous weeds, and the microclimate directly affect the density and diversity of native tree seedlings and epiphytes. Relationships between environmental conditions and the plant community were investigated in 27 restored urban forests spanning 3 to 70 years in age and in unrestored and remnant urban forests. We used structural equation modelling to determine the direct and indirect drivers of native tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization in the restored forests. Compared to remnant forest, unrestored forest had fewer native canopy tree species, significantly more light reaching the forest floor annually, and higher exotic weed cover. Additionally, epiphyte density was lower and native tree regeneration density was marginally lower in the unrestored forests. In restored forests, light availability was reduced to levels found in remnant forests within 20 years of restoration planting, followed shortly thereafter by declines in herbaceous exotic weeds and reduced fluctuation of relative humidity and soil temperatures. Contrary to expectations, canopy openness was only an indirect driver of tree regeneration and epiphyte colonization, but it directly regulated weed cover and microclimatic fluctuations, both of which directly drove the density and richness of regeneration and epiphyte colonization. Epiphyte density and diversity were also positively related to forest basal area, as large trees provide physical habitat for colonization. These results imply that ecosystem properties change predictably after initial restoration plantings, and that reaching critical

  8. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7-60 yr old (31.2 ?? 2.5 yr, mean ?? 1 SE). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of grazing. We also hypothesized that grazed sites would have higher native and exotic species richness compared to ungrazed areas, due to disturbance (i.e., the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis) and the conventional wisdom that grazing may accelerate weed invasion. Both hypotheses were soundly rejected. Although native species richness in 1-m2 subplots was significantly higher (P grasses, forbs, and shrubs), soil texture, or soil percentage of N and C between grazed and ungrazed sites at the 1000-m2 plot scale. The species lists of the long-ungrazed and adjacent grazed plots overlapped just 57.9 ?? 2.8%. This difference in species composition is commonly attributed solely to the difference in grazing regimes. However, the species lists between pairs of grazed plots (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt

  9. Effects of introduced and indigenous viruses on native plants: exploring their disease causing potential at the agro-ecological interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Stuart J; Coutts, Brenda A; Jones, Roger A C

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host-virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed natural vegetation beyond the agro-ecological interface.

  10. Sensory characteristics of antioxidant extracts from Uruguayan native plants: influence of deodorization by steam distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miraballes, Marcelo; Gámbaro, Adriana; Ares, Gastón

    2013-12-01

    Polyphenolic-rich antioxidant extracts from native plants have potential applications as ingredients in functional foods; however, their intense characteristic flavour is a major limitation to their application. In this context, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the influence of steam distillation on the sensory and physicochemical characteristics of extracts of five native Uruguayan plants (Acca sellowiana, Achyrocline satureioides, Aloysia gratisima, Baccharis trimera and Mikania guaco). Aqueous extracts from the five native plants were obtained. Steam distillation was used to produce two types of deodorized extracts: extracts from deodorized leaves and extracts deodorized after the extraction. The extracts were characterized in terms of their total polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity (using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid methods). A trained assessor panel evaluated characteristic odour, characteristic flavour, bitterness and astringency of the extracts. The total polyphenolic content of the extracts ranged from 112.4 to 974.4 mg/100 mL, whereas their antioxidant capacity ranged from 9.6 to 1008.7 mg vitamin C equivalents/100 mL, depending on the type of extract and the method being considered. Steam distillation was effective in reducing the characteristic odour and flavour of the extracts, without causing large changes in their polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity. In general, in terms of sensory characteristics, steam distillation performed on the extracts gave better results than when performed on the leaves; whereas the opposite trend was found for polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity. Results suggested that steam distillation could be a promising low-cost procedure for the production of antioxidant extracts for food products.

  11. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall’Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; de Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order. PMID:26954578

  12. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall'Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço de; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order.

  13. Drought in forest understory ecosystems – a novel rainfall reduction experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. F. Gimbel

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is predicted to severely affect precipitation patterns across central Europe. This may reduce water availability during the plant-growing season and hence affect the performance and vitality of forest ecosystems. We established a novel rainfall reduction experiment on nine sites in Germany to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory-ecosystems. A realistic, but extreme annual drought with a return period of 40 years, which corresponds to the 2.5% percentile of the annual precipitation, was imposed. At all sites, we were able to reach the target values of rainfall reduction, while other important ecosystem variables like air temperature, humidity and soil temperature remained unaffected due to the novel design of a flexible roof. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in the soil moisture dynamics relative to the control sites, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory.

  14. Native Plant Uptake Model for Radioactive Waste Disposal Areas at the Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BROWN,THERESA J.; WIRTH,SHARON

    1999-09-01

    presented here. Parameters necessary for estimating surface contaminant flux due to native plants expected to inhabit the NTS RWMSS are developed in this report. The model is specific to the plant communities found at the NTS and is designed for both short-term (<1,000 years) and long-term (>1,000 years) modeling efforts. While the model has been crafted for general applicability to any NTS PA, the key radionuclides considered are limited to the transuranic (TRU) wastes disposed of at the NTS.

  15. Steigerwald - Invasive Plant Detection, Control, and Replacement with Native Plants 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project would maintain and expand annual invasive plant survey, control, and monitoring on Steigerwald Lake NWR. Early detection surveys, rapid response, large...

  16. Steigerwald - Invasive Plant Detection, Control, and Replacement with Native Plants 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project would maintain and expand annual invasive plant survey, control, & monitoring on Steigerwald Lake NWR. Early detection surveys, rapid response,...

  17. Status and management of non-native plant invasion in three of the largest national parks in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Abella

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Globally, invasion by non-native plants threatens resources that nature reserves are designated to protect. We assessed the status of non-native plant invasion on 1,662, 0.1-ha plots in Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. These parks comprise 2.5 million ha, 23% of the national park land in the contiguous USA. At least one non-native species inhabited 82% of plots. Thirty-one percent of plots contained one non-native species, 30% two, 17% three, and 4% four to ten non-native species. Red brome (Bromus rubens, an ‘ecosystem engineer’ that alters fire regimes, was most widespread, infesting 60% of plots. By identifying frequency of species through this assessment, early detection and treatment can target infrequent species or minimally invaded sites, while containment strategies could focus on established invaders. We further compared two existing systems for prioritizing species for management and found that a third of species on plots had no rankings available. Moreover, rankings did not always agree between ranking systems for species that were ranked. Presence of multiple non-native species complicates treatment, and while we found that 40% of plots contained both forb and grass invaders, exploiting accelerated phenology of non-natives (compared to native annuals might help manage multi-species invasions. Large sizes of these parks and scale of invasion are formidable challenges for management. Yet, precisely because of their size, these reserves represent opportunities to conserve large landscapes of native species by managing non-native plant invasions.

  18. Top-down control of root-feeding nematodes in range-expanding and congeneric native plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, Maria; van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Climate warming may result in range expansion of species towards previously colder environments, and it has been demonstrated that in the new range successfully range-expanding plant species can be less attacked by aboveground and belowground enemies than congeneric natives. Plant enemies m

  19. Top-down control of root-feeding nematodes in range-expanding and congeneric native plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2015-01-01

    Climate warming may result in range expansion of species towards previously colder environments, and it has been demonstrated that in the new range successfully range-expanding plant species can be less attacked by aboveground and belowground enemies than congeneric natives. Plant enemies may be con

  20. Native and Alien Plant Species Richness Response to Soil Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Temperate Floodplain and Swamp Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Hrivnák

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Soil nitrogen and phosphorus are commonly limiting elements affecting plant species richness in temperate zones. Our species richness-ecological study was performed in alder-dominated forests representing temperate floodplains (streamside alder forests of Alnion incanae alliance and swamp forests (alder carrs of Alnion glutinosae alliance in the Western Carpathians. Species richness (i.e., the number of vascular plants in a vegetation plot was analyzed separately for native and alien vascular plants in 240 vegetation plots across the study area covering Slovakia, northern Hungary and southern Poland. The relationship between the species richness of each plant group and total soil nitrogen content, plant-available phosphorus and carbon to nitrogen (C/N ratio was analyzed by generalized linear mixed models (GLMM with Poisson error distribution and log-link function. The number of recorded native and alien species was 17–84 (average 45.4 and 0–9 (average 1.5 species per plot, respectively. The GLMMs were statistically significant (p ˂ 0.001 for both plant groups, but the total explained variation was higher for native (14% than alien plants (9%. The richness of native species was negatively affected by the total soil nitrogen content and plant-available phosphorus, whereas the C/N ratio showed a positive impact. The alien richness was predicted only by the total soil nitrogen content showing a negative effect.

  1. Beneficial native bacteria improve survival and mycorrhization of desert truffle mycorrhizal plants in nursery conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Ródenas, Alfonso; Berná, Luis Miguel; Lozano-Carrillo, Cecilia; Andrino, Alberto; Morte, Asunción

    2016-10-01

    Sixty-four native bacterial colonies were isolated from mycorrhizal roots of Helianthemum almeriense colonized by Terfezia claveryi, mycorrhizosphere soil, and peridium of T. claveryi to evaluate their effect on mycorrhizal plant production. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA partial sequence, 45 different strains from 17 genera were gathered. The largest genera were Pseudomonas (40.8 % of the isolated strains), Bacillus (12.2 % of isolated strains), and Varivorax (8.2 % of isolated strains). All the bacteria were characterized phenotypically and by their plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) traits (auxin and siderophore production, phosphate solubilization, and ACC deaminase activity). Only bacterial combinations with several PGPR traits or Pseudomonas sp. strain 5, which presents three different PGPR traits, had a positive effect on plant survival and growth. Particularly relevant were the bacterial treatments involving auxin release, which significantly increased the root-shoot ratio and mycorrhizal colonization. Moreover, Pseudomonas mandelii strain 29 was able to considerably increase mycorrhizal colonization but not plant growth, and could be considered as mycorrhiza-helper bacteria. Therefore, the mycorrhizal roots, mycorrhizosphere soil, and peridium of desert truffles are environments enriched in bacteria which may be used to increase the survival and mycorrhization in the desert truffle plant production system at a semi-industrial scale.

  2. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis.

  3. Injuries caused by animals to young imbuzeiro (Spondias tuberosa Arruda plants in native and degraded caatinga areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiza Teixeira de Lima Brito

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This study had the objective of evaluating the injuries caused by animals to young imbu tree (Spondias tuberosa Arruda plants in native and degraded Caatinga areas, between the years 1997 and 2002. One thousand imbu tree scions were planted, being 500 in a degraded Caatinga area at the community of Alto do Angico, Petrolina-PE, and 500 in a native Caatinga area at the Caatinga Experimental Station of Embrapa Tropical Semi-Arid, Petrolina-PE. At every 30 days after having planted the scions, data were collected regarding survival and injuries caused by animals to the plants. The results showed that goats are responsible for the reduction on survival rates and for the slow development of young imbu tree in the degraded Caatinga area. In the native Caatinga area, of the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu and armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus caused the highest injury levels.

  4. Do cultivated varieties of native plants have the ability to outperform their wild relatives?

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    Roland Schröder

    Full Text Available Vast amounts of cultivars of native plants are annually introduced into the semi-natural range of their wild relatives for re-vegetation and restoration. As cultivars are often selected towards enhanced biomass production and might transfer these traits into wild relatives by hybridization, it is suggested that cultivars and the wild × cultivar hybrids are competitively superior to their wild relatives. The release of such varieties may therefore result in unintended changes in native vegetation. In this study we examined for two species frequently used in re-vegetation (Plantago lanceolata and Lotus corniculatus whether cultivars and artificially generated intra-specific wild × cultivar hybrids may produce a higher vegetative and generative biomass than their wilds. For that purpose a competition experiment was conducted for two growing seasons in a common garden. Every plant type was growing (a. alone, (b. in pairwise combination with a similar plant type and (c. in pairwise interaction with a different plant type. When competing with wilds cultivars of both species showed larger biomass production than their wilds in the first year only and hybrids showed larger biomass production than their wild relatives in both study years. As biomass production is an important factor determining fitness and competitive ability, we conclude that cultivars and hybrids are competitively superior their wild relatives. However, cultivars of both species experienced large fitness reductions (nearly complete mortality in L. corniculatus due to local climatic conditions. We conclude that cultivars are good competitors only as long as they are not subjected to stressful environmental factors. As hybrids seemed to inherit both the ability to cope with the local climatic conditions from their wild parents as well as the enhanced competitive strength from their cultivars, we regard them as strong competitors and assume that they are able to outperform their wilds

  5. Effects of the herbicide glyphosate on non-target plant native species from Chaco forest (Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florencia, Ferreira María; Carolina, Torres; Enzo, Bracamonte; Leonardo, Galetto

    2017-10-01

    Agriculture based on transgenic crops has expanded in Argentina into areas formerly occupied by Chaco forest. Even though glyphosate is the herbicide most widely used in the world, increasing evidence indicates severe ecotoxicological effects on non-target organisms as native plants. The aim of this work is to determine glyphosate effects on 23 native species present in the remaining Chaco forests immersed in agricultural matrices. This is a laboratory/greenhouse approach studying acute effects on seedlings after 21 days. A gradient of glyphosate rates (525, 1050, 2100, 4200, and 8400g ai/Ha; recommended field application rate (RFAR) = 2100g ai/Ha) was applied on four-week seedlings cultivated in a greenhouse and response variables (phytotoxicity, growth reduction, and sensitivity to the herbicide) were measured. This gradient of herbicide rates covers realistic rates of glyphosate applications in the crop field and also those that can reach vegetation of forest relicts by off-target drift and overspray. Testing was performed following guidelines for vegetative vigour (post-germination spray). All species showed lethal or sublethal effects after the application of the 25% of RFAR (50% of species showed severe phytotoxicity or death and 70% of species showed growth reduction). The results showed a gradient of sensitivity to glyphosate by which some of the studied species are very sensitive to glyphosate and seedlings died with 25% of RFAR while other species can be classified as herbicide-tolerant. Thus, the vegetation present in the forest relicts could be strongly affected by glyphosate application on crops. Lethal and sublethal effects of glyphosate on non-target plants could promote both the loss of biodiversity in native forest relicts immersed in the agroecosystems and the selection of new crop weeds considering that some biotypes are continuously exposed to low doses of glyphosate. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Heavy-metal-contaminated industrial soil: Uptake assessment in native plant species from Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Sylvia Therese; Castro, Samuel Rodrigues; Fernandes, Marcus Manoel; Soares, Aylton Carlos; de Souza Freitas, Guilherme Augusto; Ribeiro, Edvan

    2016-08-02

    Plants of the Cerrado have shown some potential for restoration and/or phytoremediation projects due to their ability to grow in and tolerate acidic soils rich in metals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the tolerance and accumulation of metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in five native tree species of the Brazilian Cerrado (Copaifera langsdorffii, Eugenia dysenterica, Inga laurina, Cedrela fissilis, Handroanthus impetiginosus) subjected to three experiments with contaminated soils obtained from a zinc processing industry (S1, S2, S3) and control soil (S0). The experimental design was completely randomized (factorial 5 × 4 × 3) and conducted in a greenhouse environment during a 90-day experimentation time. The plant species behavior was assessed by visual symptoms of toxicity, tolerance index (TI), translocation factor (TF), and bioaccumulation factor (BF). C. fissilis has performed as a Zn accumulator by the higher BFs obtained in the experiments, equal to 3.72, 0.88, and 0.41 for S1, S2, and S3 respectively. This species had some ability of uptake control as a defense mechanism in high stress conditions with the best behavior for phytoremediation and high tolerance to contamination. With economical and technical benefits, this study may support a preliminary analysis necessary for using native tree species in environmental projects.

  7. Survey of Plant Growth-Promoting Mechanisms in Native Portuguese Chickpea Mesorhizobium Isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brígido, Clarisse; Glick, Bernard R; Oliveira, Solange

    2017-05-01

    Rhizobia may possess other plant growth-promoting mechanisms besides nitrogen fixation. These mechanisms and the tolerance to different environmental factors, such as metals, may contribute to the use of rhizobia inocula to establish a successful legume-rhizobia symbiosis. Our goal was to characterize a collection of native Portuguese chickpea Mesorhizobium isolates in terms of plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits and tolerance to different metals as well as to investigate whether these characteristics are related to the biogeography of the isolates. The occurrence of six PGP mechanisms and tolerance to five metals were evaluated in 61 chickpea Mesorhizobium isolates previously obtained from distinct provinces in Portugal and assigned to different species clusters. Chickpea microsymbionts show high diversity in terms of PGP traits as well as in their ability to tolerate different metals. All isolates synthesized indoleacetic acid, 50 isolates produced siderophores, 19 isolates solubilized phosphate, 12 isolates displayed acid phosphatase activity, and 22 exhibited cytokinin activity. Most isolates tolerated Zn or Pb but not Ni, Co, or Cu. Several associations between specific PGP mechanisms and the province of origin and species clusters of the isolates were found. Our data suggests that the isolate's tolerance to metals and ability to solubilize inorganic phosphate and to produce IAA may be responsible for the persistence and distribution of the native Portuguese chickpea Mesorhizobium species. Furthermore, this study revealed several chickpea microsymbionts with potential as PGP rhizobacteria as well as for utilization in phytoremediation strategies.

  8. Ozone air pollution and foliar injury development on native plants of Switzerland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novak, Kristopher; Skelly, John M.; Schaub, Marcus; Kraeuchi, Norbert; Hug, Christian; Landolt, Werner; Bleuler, Peter

    2003-09-01

    Visible ozone-induced foliar injury on native forest species of Switzerland was identified and confirmed under ambient OTC-conditions and related to the current European AOT40 standard. - The objectives of this study were to examine the foliar sensitivity to ozone exposure of 12 tree, shrub, and herbaceous species native to southern Switzerland and determine the seasonal cumulative ozone exposures required to induce visible foliar injury. The study was conducted from the beginning of May through the end of August during 2000 and 2001 using an open-top chamber research facility located within the Lattecaldo Cantonal Forest Nursery in Canton Ticino, southern Switzerland (600 m asl). Plants were examined daily and dates of initial foliar injury were recorded in order to determine the cumulative AOT40 ppb h ozone exposure required to cause visible foliar injury. Plant responses to ozone varied significantly among species; 11 species exhibited visible symptoms typical of exposures to ambient ozone. The symptomatic species (from most to least sensitive) were Populus nigra, Viburnum lantana, Salix alba, Crataegus monogyna, Viburnum opulus, Tilia platyphyllos, Cornus alba, Prunus avium, Fraxinus excelsior, Ribes alpinum, and Tilia cordata; Clematis spp. did not show foliar symptoms. Of the 11 symptomatic species, five showed initial injury below the critical level AOT40 10 ppmh O{sub 3} in the 2001 season.

  9. Response of an invasive native wetland plant to environmental flows: implications for managing regulated floodplain ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivian, Lyndsey M; Marshall, David J; Godfree, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The natural flow regimes of rivers underpin the health and function of floodplain ecosystems. However, infrastructure development and the over-extraction of water has led to the alteration of natural flow regimes, resulting in the degradation of river and floodplain habitats globally. In many catchments, including Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, environmental flows are seen as a potentially useful tool to restore natural flow regimes and manage the degradation of rivers and their associated floodplains. In this paper, we investigated whether environmental flows can assist in controlling an invasive native floodplain plant in Barmah Forest, south-eastern Australia. We experimentally quantified the effects of different environmental flow scenarios, including a shallow (20 cm) and deeper (50 cm) flood of different durations (12 and 20 weeks), as well as drought and soil-saturated conditions, on the growth and survival of seedlings of Juncus ingens, a native emergent macrophyte that has become invasive in some areas of Barmah Forest following river regulation and alteration of natural flow regimes. Three height classes of J. ingens (33 cm, 17 cm and 12 cm) were included in the experiment to explicitly test for relationships between treatments, plant survival and growth, and plant height. We found that seedling mortality occurred in the drought treatment and in the 20-week flood treatments of both depths; however, mortality rates in the flood treatments depended on initial plant height, with medium and short plants (initial heights of ≤17 cm) exhibiting the highest mortality rates. Both the 20 cm and 50 cm flood treatments of only 12 weeks duration were insufficient to cause mortality in any of the height classes; indeed, shoots of plants in the 20 cm flood treatment were able to elongate through the water surface at rapid rates. Our findings have important implications for management of Barmah Forest and floodplain ecosystems elsewhere, as it demonstrates

  10. Biofilm inhibition activity of traditional medicinal plants from Northwestern Argentina against native pathogen and environmental microorganisms

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    Cintia Mariana Romero

    Full Text Available Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Plants have been commonly used in popular medicine of most cultures for the treatment of disease. The in vitro antimicrobial activity of certain Argentine plants used in traditional medicine has been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial, anti-biofilm, and anti-cell adherence activities of native plants (Larrea divaricata, Tagetes minuta, Tessaria absinthioides, Lycium chilense, and Schinus fasciculatus collected in northwestern Argentina. METHODS: The activities of the five plant species were evaluated in Bacillus strains and clinical strains of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus isolated from northwestern Argentina and identified by 16S rDNA. RESULT: Lycium chilense and Schinus fasciculatus were the most effective antimicrobial plant extracts (15.62µg/ml and 62.50µg/ml for Staphylococcus sp. Mcr1 and Bacillus sp. Mcn4, respectively. The highest (66% anti-biofilm activity against Bacillus sp. Mcn4 was observed with T. absinthioides and L. divaricate extracts. The highest (68% anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus sp. Mcr1 was observed with L. chilense extract. T. minuta, T. absinthioides, and L. divaricata showed percentages of anti-biofilm activity of between 55% and 62%. The anti-adherence effects of T. minuta and L. chilense observed in Bacillus sp. Mcn4 reflected a difference of only 22% and 10%, respectively, between anti-adherence and biofilm inhibition. Thus, the inhibition of biofilm could be related to cell adherence. In Staphylococcus sp. Mcr1, all plant extracts produced low anti-adherence percentages. CONCLUSION: These five species may represent a source of alternative drugs derived from plant extracts, based on ethnobotanical knowledge from northwest Argentina.

  11. Plant-soil interactions in the expansion and native range of a poleward shifting plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grunsven, van R.H.A.; Putten, van der W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, F.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Climate warming causes range shifts of many species toward higher latitudes and altitudes. However, range shifts of host species do not necessarily proceed at the same rates as those of their enemies and symbionts. Here, we examined how a range shifting plant species performs in soil from its

  12. Can native plant species be preserved in an anthropogenic forest landscape dominated by aliens? A case study from Mediterranean Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffi Heinrichs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plantations with fast growing exotic tree species can negatively affect native plant species diversity and promote the spread of alien species. Mediterranean Chile experienced major landscape changes with a vast expansion of industrial plantations of Pinus radiata in the past. However, with increasing knowledge of biodiversity effects on ecosystem services Chilean forest owners now aim to integrate the conservation of native biodiversity into forest management, but data on native species diversity and establishment within a plantation landscape is scarce. Here we investigated plant species diversity and composition in four forest management options applied within a landscape dominated by P. radiata plantations in comparison to an unmanaged reference: (i a clear cut, (ii a strip cut, (iii a native canopy of Nothofagus glauca and (iv a young P. radiata plantation. We wanted to assess if native plant species can be maintained either by natural regeneration or by planting of native tree species (Nothofagus glauca, N. obliqua, Quillaja saponaria within this landscape. Results show a high diversity of native and forest plant species within the different management options indicating a high potential for native biodiversity restoration within an anthropogenic landscape. In particular, herbaceous species can benefit from management. They are rare in unmanaged natural forests that are characterized by low light conditions and a thick litter layer. Management, however, also promoted a diversity of alien species. The rapid spread of alien grass species after management can deter an initial establishment of native tree species or the survival and growth after planting mainly under dry but less under sufficient moisture conditions. The most unsuccessful option for promoting native plant species was clear cutting in a dry area where alien grasses were abundant. For drought-tolerant tree species such as Quillaja saponaria, though

  13. Can native plant species be preserved in an anthropogenic forest landscape dominated by aliens? A case study from Mediterranean Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffi Heinrichs

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plantations with fast growing exotic tree species can negatively affect native plant species diversity and promote the spread of alien species. Mediterranean Chile experienced major landscape changes with a vast expansion of industrial plantations of Pinus radiata in the past. However, with increasing knowledge of biodiversity effects on ecosystem services Chilean forest owners now aim to integrate the conservation of native biodiversity into forest management, but data on native species diversity and establishment within a plantation landscape is scarce. Here we investigated plant species diversity and composition in four forest management options applied within a landscape dominated by P. radiata plantations in comparison to an unmanaged reference: (i a clear cut, (ii a strip cut, (iii a native canopy of Nothofagus glauca and (iv a young P. radiata plantation. We wanted to assess if native plant species can be maintained either by natural regeneration or by planting of native tree species (Nothofagus glauca, N. obliqua, Quillaja saponaria within this landscape. Results show a high diversity of native and forest plant species within the different management options indicating a high potential for native biodiversity restoration within an anthropogenic landscape. In particular, herbaceous species can benefit from management. They are rare in unmanaged natural forests that are characterized by low light conditions and a thick litter layer. Management, however, also promoted a diversity of alien species. The rapid spread of alien grass species after management can deter an initial establishment of native tree species or the survival and growth after planting mainly under dry but less under sufficient moisture conditions. The most unsuccessful option for promoting native plant species was clear cutting in a dry area where alien grasses were abundant. For drought-tolerant tree species such as Quillaja saponaria, though

  14. An exotic invasive plant selects for increased competitive tolerance, but not competitive suppression, in a native grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Rebecca A; Callaway, Ragan M; Atwater, Daniel Z

    2016-06-01

    Exotic invasive plants can exert strong selective pressure for increased competitive ability in native plants. There are two fundamental components of competitive ability: suppression and tolerance, and the current paradigm that these components have equal influences on a species' overall competitive ability has been recently questioned. If these components do not have equal influences on overall ability, then selection on competitive tolerance and suppression may be disproportionate. We used naturally invaded communities to study the effects of selection caused by an invasive forb, Centaurea stoebe, on a native grass, Pseudoroegneria spicata. P. spicata plants were harvested from within dense C. stoebe patches and from nearby uninvaded areas, divided clonally into replicates, then transplanted into a common garden where they grew alone or competed with C. stoebe. We found that P. spicata plants collected from within C. stoebe patches were significantly more tolerant of competition with C. stoebe than P. spicata plants collected from uninvaded areas, but plants from inside invaded patches were not superior at suppressing C. stoebe. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that strong competitors may select for tolerance to competition more than for the ability to suppress neighbors. This has important implications for how native plant communities may respond to invasion over time, and how invasive and native species may ultimately coexist.

  15. The cobblers stick to their lasts : pollinators prefer native over alien plant species in a multi-species experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Chrobock, Thomas; Winiger, Pius; Fischer, Markus; van Kleunen, Mark

    2013-01-01

    The majority of plant species rely, at least partly, on animals for pollination. Our knowledge on whether pollinator visitation differs between native and alien plant species, and between invasive and non-invasive alien species is still limited. Additionally, because numerous invasive plant species are escapees from horticulture, the transition from human-assisted occurrence in urbanized habitats to unassisted persistence and spread in (semi-)natural habitats requires study. To address whethe...

  16. Antibacterial activity of native California medicinal plant extracts isolated from Rhamnus californica and Umbellularia californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranza, Maria G; Sevigny, Mary B; Banerjee, Debashree; Fox-Cubley, Lacie

    2015-05-23

    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to global public health. Medicinal plants have long been used as remedies for infectious diseases by native cultures around the world and have the potential for providing effective treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections. Rhamnus californica (Rhamnaceae) and Umbellularia californica (Lauraceae) are two indigenous California plant species historically used by Native Americans to treat skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. This study aimed to assess the in vitro antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts of leaves and bark of R. and U. californica against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Methanolic extracts of leaves and bark of R. and U. californica were prepared by soxhlet extraction and evaluated for their antimicrobial activity against Bacillus cereus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using disc diffusion and minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays. Chemical profiling of the extracts was performed using standard methods. All extracts inhibited the growth of MRSA and other Gram-positive bacteria with MICs of 3.3-6.0 mg/ml. Gram-negative organisms were unaffected by these extracts. U. californica extracts (leaves and bark) had the lowest MIC values. Chemical profiling detected the presence of quinones, alkaloids, flavonoids, cardenolides, tannins and saponins in these extracts. Our study is the first to report the antimicrobial properties of R. and U. californica and illustrates their promising anti-MRSA potential. Our results give scientific credence to the traditional medicinal uses of these plants by the indigenous peoples of California. Further investigation of the secondary metabolites responsible for the antimicrobial activity of these extracts against MRSA is warranted.

  17. Arsenic and heavy metals in native plants at tailings impoundments in Queretaro, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Jallath, José; Castro-Rodríguez, Alejandrina; Huezo-Casillas, José; Torres-Bustillos, Luis

    Ten native plants species that grow in three tailings dams from Ag, Pb, Cu and Zn mine in Queretaro, Mexico were studied. Total concentrations in tailings were 183-14,660 mg/kg As, 45-308 mg/kg Cd, 327-1754 mg/kg Pb, 149-459 mg/kg Cu and 448-505 mg/kg Zn. In the three tailings dams, the solubility of these elements is low. Tailings in dam 1 are acid generating while tailings in dams 2 and 3 are not acid-generating potential. Plants species that accumulate arsenic and heavy metals was identified; Nicotina glauca generally presented the highest concentrations (92 mg/kg As, 106 mg/kg Cd, 189 mg/kg Pb, 95 mg/kg Cu and 1985 mg/kg Zn). Other species that accumulate these elements are Flaveria pubescens, Tecoma stans, Prosopis Sp, Casuarina Sp and Maurandia antirrhiniflora. Two species were found that accumulates a large amount of metals in the root, Cenchrus ciliaris and Opuntia lasiacantha. Concentrations in soils in which plants grow were 488-5990 mg/kg As, 5-129 mg/kg Cd, 169-3638 mg/kg Pb, 159-1254 mg/kg Cu and 1431-13,488 mg/kg Zn. The Accumulation Factor (AF) determined for plants was less than 1, with exception of N. glauca for Cd. The correlation between arsenic and heavy metals found in soils and plants was low. Knowledge of plant characteristics allows it use in planning the reforestation of tailings dams in controlled manner. This will reduce the risk of potentially toxic elements are integrated into the food chain of animal species.

  18. Eradicating Understory Hardwoods By Repeated Prescribed Burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles X. Grano

    1970-01-01

    In a loblolly-shorleaf pine stand contained abundant litter, one winter fire killed 94 percent of the stems of understory hardwoods up to 3.5 inches in diameter at teh base. Prolific sprouting ensued. Eleven annual summer burns eliminated sprouting on 85 percent of the rootstocks, and seven biennial summer burns eliminated sprouting on 59 percent of them.

  19. Comparison of seed rain and seed limitation between community understory and gaps in a subtropical evergreen forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Yanjun; Mi, Xiangcheng; Ma, Keping

    2012-10-01

    Treefall gaps have been identified as important sites for plant recruitment. In this study, we compared seed rain between forest gaps and forest interior using 150 seed traps in the understory and 19 traps in gaps in a 24 ha permanent plot of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in East China. We asked how total seed abundance and seed species richness, the relative representation of different dispersal modes, and seed limitation and its components differed between canopy gaps and the understory. Results showed that most of the species found in both the understory and in gaps were animal-dispersal, but most of the seed rain was comprised of wind-dispersed species in both habitats. No significant differences in either density or diversity of seeds between gaps and non-gap sites were found. Contrary to expectations, wind-dispersed seeds did not occur significantly more in treefall gaps than in the forest understory. There were also no significant differences in seed limitation and its components (source limitation, dispersal limitation) between the understory and gaps. Seed limitation was strong for all but a few of the best-dispersed species in both gap and understory seed traps. Source and dispersal limitation showed large inter-specific variation in both the understory and in gaps. Overall, our results indicate that: (i) gaps may play a neutral role in maintaining seed diversity in this subtropical forest; (ii) under strong seed limitation both in gaps and in the understory, population and community dynamics slows and ecological drift in species composition may become a more important determinant of community structure.

  20. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Huawu, E-mail: wuhuawu416@163.com [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Li, Xiao-Yan, E-mail: xyli@bnu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong [College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0–30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant–soil–water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. - Highlights: • Stable oxygen-18 in soil water experienced great evaporation enrichment. • H. rhamnoides experiences a flexible plasticity to switch between shallow and deep soil water. • Native plants mostly relied on shallow and middle soil water. • Water-use patterns by introduced-native plants are controlled by root characteristics.

  1. The Spread of Non-native Plant Species Collection of Cibodas Botanical Garden into Mt. Gede Pangrango National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musyarofah Zuhri

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of botanic garden in spread of non-native plant species has concerned of international worldwide. This study aimed to study the extent of non-native plant species from Cibodas Botanical Garden (CBG which invades into natural rainforest. A line transect was made edge-to-interior with 1,600 m in distance from CBG boundary. Result showed that distance from CBG was not significant in correlation with non-native tree and treelet density. Furthermore, presence of existing CBG’s plant collection was not a single aspect which influenced presence and abundance. Three invasive species possibly was escape from CBG and it showed edge-to-interior in stems density, i.e. Cinchona pubescens, Calliandra calothyrsus and Cestrum aurantiacum. The patterns of non-native species were influenced by presence of ditch across transect, existence of human trail, and the other non-native species did not have general pattern of spread distribution. Overall, botanical gardens should minimize the risk of unintentional introduced plant by perform site-specific risk assessment.

  2. Taxonomic similarity, more than contact opportunity, explains novel plant-pathogen associations between native and alien taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bufford, Jennifer L; Hulme, Philip E; Sikes, Benjamin A; Cooper, Jerry A; Johnston, Peter R; Duncan, Richard P

    2016-11-01

    Novel associations between plants and pathogens can have serious impacts on managed and natural ecosystems world-wide. The introduction of alien plants increases the potential for biogeographically novel plant-pathogen associations to arise when pathogens are transmitted from native to alien plant species and vice versa. We quantified biogeographically novel associations recorded in New Zealand over the last 150 yr between plant pathogens (fungi, oomycetes and plasmodiophorids) and vascular plants. We examined the extent to which taxonomic similarity, pathogen traits, contact opportunity and sampling effort could explain the number of novel associates for host and pathogen species. Novel associations were common; approximately one-third of surveyed plants and pathogens were recorded with at least one biogeographically novel associate. Native plants had more alien pathogens than vice versa. Taxonomic similarity between the native and alien flora and the total number of recorded associations (a measure of sampling effort) best explained the number of novel associates among species. The frequency of novel associations and the importance of sampling effort as an explanatory variable emphasize the need for effective monitoring and risk assessment tools to mitigate the potential environmental and economic impact of novel pathogen associations.

  3. Estimating Understory Temperatures Using MODIS LST in Mixed Cordilleran Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David N. Laskin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing provides a rapid and broad-scale means for monitoring vegetation phenology and its relationship with fluctuations in air temperature. Investigating the response of plant communities to climate change is needed to gain insight into the potentially detrimental effects on ecosystem processes. While many studies have used satellite-derived land surface temperature (LST as a proxy for air temperature, few studies have attempted to create and validate models of forest understory temperature (Tust, as it is obscured from these space-borne observations. This study worked to predict instantaneous values of Tust using daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS LST data over a 99,000 km2 study area located in the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta, Canada. Specifically, we aimed to identify the forest characteristics that improve estimates of Tust over using LST alone. Our top model predicted Tust to within a mean absolute error (MAE of 1.4 °C with an overall model fit of R2 = 0.89 over two growing seasons. Canopy closure and the LiDAR-derived standard deviation of canopy height metric were found to significantly improve estimations of Tust over MODIS LST alone. These findings demonstrate that canopy structure and forest stand-type function to differentiate understory air temperatures from ambient canopy temperature as seen by the sensor overhead.

  4. Understory species richness in an urban forest fragment, Pernambuco, Brazil

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    Ana Cristina Ramos de Souza

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study characterizes the floristic composition of the understory of Parque Estadual de Dois Irmãos, (08°01’15.1”S and 34°56’3.2”W, an area of about 370ha characterized as a lowland ombrophilous dense forest. The study included individuals with heights of up to 4.0m, such as treelets, shrubs, sub-bushes and terricolous herb plants, in fertile conditions. The collections were made every two weeks along a period of 24 months. A total of 108 species, belonging to 86 genera and 49 families, were recorded. The families with the highest number of species were Rubiaceae (14, Fabaceae (9 Melastomataceae (8, Asteraceae (8, Myrtaceae (6, and Poaceae (4. The Fabaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae presented the highest number of understory species in this fragment. Generally, among the studies made in the Atlantic forest areas in Pernambuco, the presence of a set of tree species common to these forests is evidenced.

  5. Integrated coastal monitoring of a gas processing plant using native and caged mussels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brooks, Steven, E-mail: sbr@niva.no [Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Gaustadalleen 21, NO-0349 Oslo (Norway); Harman, Christopher [Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Gaustadalleen 21, NO-0349 Oslo (Norway); Soto, Manu; Cancio, Ibon [CBET Res Grp, R and D Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PIE), Univ Basque Country, Areatza Z/G, Plentzia-Bizkaia, E-48620 Basque Country (Spain); Glette, Tormod [Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Veritasveien 1, 1363 Hovik (Norway); Marigomez, Ionan [CBET Res Grp, R and D Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PIE), Univ Basque Country, Areatza Z/G, Plentzia-Bizkaia, E-48620 Basque Country (Spain)

    2012-06-01

    The biological effects of a coastal process water (PW) discharge on native and caged mussels (Mytilus edulis) were assessed. Chemical analyses of mussel tissues and semi permeable membrane devices, along with a suite of biomarkers of different levels of biological complexity were measured. These were lysosomal membrane stability in haemocytes and digestive cells; micronuclei formation in haemocytes; changes in cell-type composition in the digestive gland epithelium; integrity of digestive gland tissue; peroxisome proliferation; and oxidative stress. Additionally the Integrative Biological Response (IBR/n) index was calculated. This integrative biomarker approach distinguished mussels, both native and caged, exhibiting different stress conditions not identified from the contaminant exposure. Mussels exhibiting higher stress responses were found with increased proximity to the PW discharge outlet. However, the biological effects reported could not be entirely attributed to the PW discharge based on the chemicals measured, but were likely due to either other chemicals in the discharge that were not measured, the general impact of the processing plant and or other activities in the local vicinity. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Good agreement between biomarkers for the different mussel groups. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer IBR/n was able to differentiate between exposed and reference mussels. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mussels closest to the PW outlet were in poorest health. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Chemical concentrations were low or undetected in all SPMD and mussel samples. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Biomarker responses could not be entirely attributed to the PW discharge.

  6. Temperature-dependent performance of competitive native and alien invasive plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Uhram

    2017-10-01

    To assess the likely impacts of environmental change, the responses of two well-known invasive plant species, native Pueraria lobata and alien Humulus japonicus, to differences in growth temperature were studied in South Korea. Habitat preferences, physiological responses such as photosynthetic rates and chlorophyll contents, growth rates, and nutrient contents were quantified for each species. A competition experiment was conducted to evaluate the temperature preferences of the two species. All results indicated that the alien species H. japonicus can take advantage of elevated temperatures (35 °C) to enhance its competitive advantage against the native species P. lobata. While H. japonicus took advantage of elevated temperatures and preferred high-temperature areas, P. lobata showed reduced performance and dominance in high-temperature areas. Therefore, in future, due to global warming and urbanization, there are possibilities that H. japonicus takes advantage of elevated temperature against P. lobata that could lead to increased H. japonicus coverage over time. Therefore, consistent monitoring of both species especially where P. lobata is dominated are required because both species are found in every continents in the world. Controlling P. lobata requires thorough inspection of H. japonicus presence of the habitat in advance to prevent post P. lobata management invasion of H. japonicus.

  7. Native Brazilian plants against nosocomial infections: a critical review on their potential and the antimicrobial methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    H Moreno, Paulo Roberto; da Costa-Issa, Fabiana Inácio; Rajca-Ferreira, Agnieszka K; Pereira, Marcos A A; Kaneko, Telma M

    2013-01-01

    The growing incidences of drug-resistant pathogens have increased the attention on several medicinal plants and their metabolites for antimicrobial properties. These pathogens are the main cause of nosocomial infections which led to an increasing mortality among hospitalized patients. Taking into consideration those factors, this paper reviews the state-of-the-art of the research on antibacterial agents from native Brazilian plant species related to nosocomial infections as well as the current methods used in the investigations of the antimicrobial activity and points out the differences in techniques employed by the authors. The antimicrobial assays most frequently used were broth microdilution, agar diffusion, agar dilution and bioautography. The broth microdilution method should be the method of choice for testing new antimicrobial agents from plant extracts or isolated compounds due to its advantages. At the moment, only a small part of the rich Brazilian flora has been investigated for antimicrobial activity, mostly with unfractionated extracts presenting a weak or moderate antibacterial activity. The combination of crude extract with conventional antibiotics represents a largely unexploited new form of chemotherapy with novel and multiple mechanisms of action that can overcome microbial resistance that needs to be further investigated. The antibacterial activity of essential oil vapours might also be an interesting alternative treatment of hospital environment due to their ability in preventing biofilm formation. However, in both alternatives more studies should be done on their mode of action and toxicological effects in order to optimize their use.

  8. Plant pollinator interactions: comparison between an invasive and a native congeneric species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanparys, Valérie; Meerts, Pierre; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2008-11-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions determine reproductive success for animal-pollinated species and, in the case of invasive plants, they are supposed to play an important role in invasive success. We compared the invasive Senecio inaequidens to its native congener S. jacobaea in terms of interactions with pollinators. Visitor guild, visitation rate, and seed set were compared over 3 years in three sites in Belgium. Floral display (capitula number and arrangement) and phenology were quantified, and visiting insects were individually censused, i.e. number of visited capitula and time per visited capitulum. As expected from capitula resemblance, visitor guilds of both species were very similar (proportional similarity = 0.94). Senecio inaequidens was visited by 33 species, versus 36 for S. jacobaea. For both species, main visitors were Diptera, especially Syrphidae, and Hymenoptera. Visitation rate averaged 0.13 visitor per capitulum per 10 min for S. inaequidens against 0.08 for S. jacobaea. However, insects visited more capitula per plant on S. jacobaea, due to high capitula density (886 m -2 versus 206 m -2 for S. inaequidens), which is likely to increase self-pollen deposition considerably. Seed set of S. jacobaea was lower than that of S. inaequidens. We suggest that floral display is the major factor explaining the differences in insect visitation and seed set between the two Senecio species.

  9. Analysis of genetic diversity of a native population of Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. plants using ISSR markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, M F; Nizio, D A C; Brito, F A; Sampaio, T S; Silva, A V C; Arrigoni-Blank, M F; Carvalho, S V A; Blank, A F

    2016-12-02

    Myrcia lundiana Kiaersk. is a tree of the family Myrtaceae found in tropical and subtropical areas of the southern hemisphere that produces essential oil. The aim of this study was to characterize the genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants from a native population of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana, using inter-simple sequence repeat molecular markers. Thirty-five primers were tested, 20 of which were polymorphic, resulting in 135 polymorphic and informative bands. Results of the cluster analysis, obtained using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean, grouped plants into three clusters: Cluster I - MLU001, MLU002, MLU003, MLU004, MLU005, MLU006, MLU018, MLU019, MLU020, MLU021, MLU022; MLU008, MLU011, MLU012, MLU014, MLU015, MLU017, MLU026, and MLU028; Cluster II - MLU007, MLU009, MLU010, MLU013, and MLU016; and Cluster III - MLU023, MLU024, MLU025, and MLU027. Jaccard similarity coefficients for pair-wise comparisons of plants ranged between 0.15 and 0.87. MLU014 and MLU015 presented low genetic diversity, with a similarity index of 0.87. Conversely, MLU007 and MLU019 presented high diversity, with a similarity index of 0.15. According to the structure analysis, three distinct clusters were formed. Genetic diversity of M. lundiana plants was intermediate, and expansion of its genetic diversity is necessary. MLU026 and MLU028 are the most suitable for selection in breeding programs, since they clearly represent all of the diversity present in these plants. Moreover, these results provide important information on the existing genetic variability, highlighting the importance of Parque Nacional de Itabaiana for the conservation of this species.

  10. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, Andrea S.; Perakis, Steven S.; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ15N averaged −0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications.

  11. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea S Thorpe

    Full Text Available Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA. We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ(15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ(15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ(15N averaged -0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ(15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale

  12. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorpe, Andrea S; Perakis, Steven; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ(15)N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ(15)N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ(15)N averaged -0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ(15)N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications.

  13. Levels of toxic arsenic species in native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Salgado, Sara; Quijano, M Ángeles

    2014-03-01

    Ten native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities (Mónica mine, NW Madrid, Spain), with high total arsenic concentration levels (up to 3500 μg g(-1)), have been studied to determine the fraction of arsenic present as toxic forms (inorganic and methylated species), which present a higher mobility and therefore the potential risk associated with their reintegration into the environment is high. Roots and aboveground parts were analyzed separately to assess possible transformations from translocation processes. Extractions were carried out with deionized water by microwave-assisted extraction at a temperature of 90 °C and three extraction steps of 7.5 min each. Total extracted arsenic concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, showing extraction percentages from 9 to 39% (calculated as the ratio between total extracted arsenic (Asext) and total arsenic (AsT) concentrations in plants). Speciation studies, performed by high performance liquid chromatography-photo-oxidation-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry, showed the main presence of arsenate (As(v)) (up to 350 μg g(-1)), followed by arsenite (As(iii)), in both plant parts. Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) were also found only in some plants. On the other hand, the use of 0.5 mol L(-1) acetic acid as an extractant led to higher extraction percentages (33-87%), but lower column recoveries, probably due to the extraction of arsenic compounds different to the toxic free ions studied, which may come from biotransformation mechanisms carried out by plants to reduce arsenic toxicity. However, As(v) concentrations increased up to 800 μg g(-1) in acid medium, indicating the probable release of As(v) from organoarsenic compounds and therefore a higher potential risk for the environment.

  14. Restoration of Degraded Soil in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest with Native Tree Species: Effect of Indigenous Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andimuthu Ramachandran

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Restoration of a highly degraded forest, which had lost its natural capacity for regeneration, was attempted in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest in Eastern Ghats of India. In field experiment, 12 native tree species were planted. The restoration included inoculation with a consortium of 5 native plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB, with the addition of small amounts of compost and a chemical fertilizer (NPK. The experimental fields were maintained for 1080 days. The growth and biomass varied depending on the plant species. All native plants responded well to the supplementation with the native PGPB. The plants such as Pongamia pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Gmelina arborea, Wrightia tinctoria, Syzygium cumini, Albizia lebbeck, Terminalia bellirica, and Azadirachta indica performed well in the native soil. This study demonstrated, by using native trees and PGPB, a possibility to restore the degraded forest.

  15. Restoration of Degraded Soil in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest with Native Tree Species: Effect of Indigenous Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Andimuthu; Radhapriya, Parthasarathy

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of a highly degraded forest, which had lost its natural capacity for regeneration, was attempted in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest in Eastern Ghats of India. In field experiment, 12 native tree species were planted. The restoration included inoculation with a consortium of 5 native plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), with the addition of small amounts of compost and a chemical fertilizer (NPK). The experimental fields were maintained for 1080 days. The growth and biomass varied depending on the plant species. All native plants responded well to the supplementation with the native PGPB. The plants such as Pongamia pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Gmelina arborea, Wrightia tinctoria, Syzygium cumini, Albizia lebbeck, Terminalia bellirica, and Azadirachta indica performed well in the native soil. This study demonstrated, by using native trees and PGPB, a possibility to restore the degraded forest. PMID:27195310

  16. Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Yoshito; Ichikawa, San'ei; Kubota, Masahide; Hoshino, Junko; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Kouichi; Fuma, Shoichi; Kawaguchi, Isao; Yoschenko, Vasyl I; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-08-28

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) in March 2011, much attention has been paid to the biological consequences of the released radionuclides into the surrounding area. We investigated the morphological changes in Japanese fir, a Japanese endemic native conifer, at locations near the F1NPP. Japanese fir populations near the F1NPP showed a significantly increased number of morphological defects, involving deletions of leader shoots of the main axis, compared to a control population far from the F1NPP. The frequency of the defects corresponded to the radioactive contamination levels of the observation sites. A significant increase in deletions of the leader shoots became apparent in those that elongated after the spring of 2012, a year after the accident. These results suggest possibility that the contamination by radionuclides contributed to the morphological defects in Japanese fir trees in the area near the F1NPP.

  17. Larvicidal and cytotoxic activities of extracts from 11 native plants from northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Torre Rodriguez, Yael C; Martínez Estrada, Francisco Ricardo; Flores Suarez, Adriana Elizabeth; Waksman de Torres, Noemí; Salazar Aranda, Ricardo

    2013-03-01

    Of all mosquito-borne viral diseases, dengue is spreading most rapidly worldwide. Conventional chemical insecticides (e.g., organophosphates and carbamates) effectively kill mosquitoes at their larval stage, but are toxic to humans. Natural product-based insecticides may be highly specific. Herein, we report the insecticidal activities of 11 native Mexican plants against Aedes aegypti (L). Ether extracts of Ambrosia confertiflora De Candolle, Thymus vulgaris (L.), and Zanthoxylum fagara (L.), and both ether and methanol extracts of Ruta chalepensis L. were significantly larvicidal toward the dengue mosquito after 24 h of exposure. Of them, only the ether extract of A. confertiflora was toxic to Vero cells. In conclusion, the ether extracts of Thymus vulgaris, Z. fagara, and both ether and methanol extracts of Ruta chalepensis L., could be considered as potential bioinsecticides.

  18. Rare earth elements (REEs): effects on germination and growth of selected crop and native plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philippe J; Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline; Allison, Jane E

    2014-02-01

    The phytotoxicity of rare earth elements (REEs) is still poorly understood. The exposure-response relationships of three native Canadian plant species (common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., showy ticktrefoil, Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L.) and two commonly used crop species (radish, Raphanus sativus L., and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L.) to the REEs lanthanum (La), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce) were tested. In separate experiments, seven to eight doses of each element were added to the soil prior to sowing seeds. Effects of REE dose on germination were established through measures of total percent germination and speed of germination; effects on growth were established through determination of above ground biomass. Ce was also tested at two pH levels and plant tissue analysis was conducted on pooled samples. Effects on germination were mostly observed with Ce at low pH. However, effects on growth were more pronounced, with detectable inhibition concentrations causing 10% and 25% reductions in biomass for the two native forb species (A. syriaca and D. canadense) with all REEs and on all species tested with Ce in both soil pH treatments. Concentration of Ce in aboveground biomass was lower than root Ce content, and followed the dose-response trend. From values measured in natural soils around the world, our results continue to support the notion that REEs are of limited toxicity and not considered extremely hazardous to the environment. However, in areas where REE contamination is likely, the slow accumulation of these elements in the environment could become problematic.

  19. The effects of seeding sterile triticale on a native plant community after wildfire in a pinyon pinemountain mahogany woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waitman, B.A.; Draper, T.M.; Esque, T.C.

    2009-01-01

    Post-fire seeding with grasses is a common practice for emergency rehabilitation of burned woodlands. However, most post-seeding monitoring does not address consequences to native flora. In November 2004, the US Forest Service hand-seeded triticale (Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus), a sterile wheatrye hybrid, on a small burned area in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, United States. A monitoring project using paired plots was designed to quantify the effects of seeding triticale on density and species richness of native annual and perennial plants, cover of perennial plants, and aboveground production of annual plants. We did not find any effects of triticale seeding on annual plant species or most responses of perennial plants. However, the density of woody perennial seedlings was significantly lower 2 years after triticale was added. Although we found a smaller impact from seeding with exotic grass than other studies, quantifiable costs to native vegetation were observed. We caution against the use of non-native grass for seeding in areas with naturally low perennial recruitment. ?? IAWF 2009.

  20. Impacts of Carpobrotus edulis (L. N.E.Br. on the germination, establishment and survival of native plants: a clue for assessing its competitive strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Novoa

    Full Text Available Does Carpobrotus edulis have an impact on native plants? How do C. edulis' soil residual effects affect the maintenance of native populations? What is the extent of interspecific competition in its invasion process? In order to answer those questions, we established pure and mixed cultures of native species and C. edulis on soil collected from invaded and native areas of Mediterranean coastal dunes in the Iberian Peninsula. We examined the impact of the invader on the germination, growth and survival of seeds and adult plants of two native plant species (Malcolmia littorea (L. R.Br, and Scabiosa atropurpurea L. growing with ramets or seeds of C. edulis. Residual effects of C. edulis on soils affected the germination process and early growth of native plants in different ways, depending on plant species and density. Interspecific competition significantly reduced the germination and early growth of native plants but this result was soil, density, timing and plant species dependent. Also, at any density of adult individuals of C. edulis, established native adult plants were not competitive. Moreover, ramets of C. edulis had a lethal effect on native plants, which died in a short period of time. Even the presence of C. edulis seedlings prevents the recruitment of native species. In conclusion, C. edulis have strong negative impacts on the germination, growth and survival of the native species M. littorea and S. atropurpurea. These impacts were highly depended on the development stages of native and invasive plants. Our findings are crucial for new strategies of biodiversity conservation in coastal habitats.

  1. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings in a temperate continental climate effectively sequesters and stabilizes carbon within decades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Shaun C; Cavagnaro, Timothy R; Mac Nally, Ralph; Paul, Keryn I; Baker, Patrick J; Beringer, Jason; Thomson, James R; Thompson, Ross M

    2015-04-01

    Reforestation has large potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Native mixed-species plantings have a higher potential to reverse biodiversity loss than do plantations of production species, but there are few data on their capacity to store carbon. A chronosequence (5-45 years) of 36 native mixed-species plantings, paired with adjacent pastures, was measured to investigate changes to stocks among C pools following reforestation of agricultural land in the medium rainfall zone (400-800 mm yr(-1)) of temperate Australia. These mixed-species plantings accumulated 3.09 ± 0.85 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in aboveground biomass and 0.18 ± 0.05 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in plant litter, reaching amounts comparable to those measured in remnant woodlands by 20 years and 36 years after reforestation respectively. Soil C was slower to increase, with increases seen only after 45 years, at which time stocks had not reached the amounts found in remnant woodlands. The amount of trees (tree density and basal area) was positively associated with the accumulation of carbon in aboveground biomass and litter. In contrast, changes to soil C were most strongly related to the productivity of the location (a forest productivity index and soil N content in the adjacent pasture). At 30 years, native mixed-species plantings had increased the stability of soil C stocks, with higher amounts of recalcitrant C and higher C:N ratios than their adjacent pastures. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings did not significantly change the availability of macronutrients (N, K, Ca, Mg, P, and S) or micronutrients (Fe, B, Mn, Zn, and Cu), content of plant toxins (Al, Si), acidity, or salinity (Na, electrical conductivity) in the soil. In this medium rainfall area, native mixed-species plantings provided comparable rates of C sequestration to local production species, with the probable additional benefit of providing better quality habitat for native biota. These results

  2. Conversion of native terrestrial ecosystems in Hawai‘i to novel grazing systems: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.

    2017-01-01

    The remote oceanic islands of Hawai‘i exemplify the transformative effects that non-native herbivorous mammals can bring to isolated terrestrial ecosystems. We reviewed published literature containing systematically collected, analyzed, and peer-reviewed original data specifically addressing direct effects of non-native hoofed mammals (ungulates) on terrestrial ecosystems, and indirect effects and interactions on ecosystem processes in Hawai‘i. The effects of ungulates on native vegetation and ecosystems were addressed in 58 original studies and mostly showed strong short-term regeneration of dominant native trees and understory ferns after ungulate removal, but unassisted recovery was dependent on the extent of previous degradation. Ungulates were associated with herbivory, bark-stripping, disturbance by hoof action, soil erosion, enhanced nutrient cycling from the interaction of herbivory and grasses, and increased pyrogenicity and competition between native plants and pasture grasses. No studies demonstrated that ungulates benefitted native ecosystems except in short-term fire-risk reduction. However, non-native plants became problematic and continued to proliferate after release from herbivory, including at least 11 species of non-native pasture grasses that had become established prior to ungulate removal. Competition from non-native grasses inhibited native species regeneration where degradation was extensive. These processes have created novel grazing systems which, in some cases, have irreversibly altered Hawaii’s terrestrial ecology. Non-native plant control and outplanting of rarer native species will be necessary for recovery where degradation has been extensive. Lack of unassisted recovery in some locations should not be construed as a reason to not attempt restoration of other ecosystems.

  3. Visitation by wild and managed bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) to eastern U.S. native plants for use in conservation programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuell, Julianna K; Fiedler, Anna K; Landis, Douglas; Isaacs, Rufus

    2008-06-01

    Addition of floral resources to agricultural field margins has been shown to increase abundance of beneficial insects in crop fields, but most plants recommended for this use are non-native annuals. Native perennial plants with different bloom periods can provide floral resources for bees throughout the growing season for use in pollinator conservation projects. To identify the most suitable plants for this use, we examined the relative attractiveness to wild and managed bees of 43 eastern U.S. native perennial plants, grown in a common garden setting. Floral characteristics were evaluated for their ability to predict bee abundance and taxa richness. Of the wild bees collected, the most common species (62%) was Bombus impatiens Cresson. Five other wild bee species were present between 3 and 6% of the total: Lasioglossum admirandum (Sandhouse), Hylaeus affinis (Smith), Agapostemon virescens (F.), Halictus ligatus Say, and Ceratina calcarata/dupla Robertson/Say. The remaining wild bee species were present at plant species were visited at least once by wild bees; 9 were highly attractive, and 20 were moderately attractive. Honey bees visited 24 of the 43 plant species at least once. Floral area was the only measured factor accounting for variation in abundance and richness of wild bees but did not explain variation in honey bee abundance. Results of this study can be used to guide selection of flowering plants to provide season-long forage for conservation of wild bees.

  4. Resource Limitations Influence Growth and Vigor of Idaho Fescue, a Common Understory Species in Pacific Northwest Ponderosa Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig A. Carr

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in under-canopy resource availability associated with elevated ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. abundance can negatively influence understory vegetation. Experimental evidence linking under-canopy resource availability and understory vegetation is scarce. Yet this information would be beneficial in developing management strategies to recover desired understory species. We tested the effects of varying nitrogen (N and light availability on Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer, the dominant understory species in ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue plant associations in eastern Oregon. In a greenhouse experiment, two levels of N (50 kg∙N∙ha−1 and 0 kg∙N∙ha−1 and shade (80% shade and 0% shade were applied in a split-plot design to individual potted plants grown in soil collected from high abundance pine stands. Plants grown in unshaded conditions produced greater root (p = 0.0027 and shoot (p = 0.0017 biomass and higher cover values (p = 0.0378 compared to those in the shaded treatments. The addition of N had little effect on plant growth (p = 0.1602, 0.5129, and 0.0853 for shoot biomass, root biomass, and cover, respectively, suggesting that soils in high-density ponderosa pine stands that lack understory vegetation were not N deficient and Idaho fescue plants grown in these soils were not N limited. Management activities that increase under-canopy light availability will promote the conditions necessary for Idaho fescue recovery. However, successful restoration may be constrained by a lack of residual fescue or the invasion of more competitive understory vegetation.

  5. Top-down control of root-feeding nematodes in range-expanding and congeneric native plant species

    OpenAIRE

    Viketoft, Maria; Wim H van der Putten

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Climate warming may result in range expansion of species towards previously colder environments, and it has been demonstrated that in the new range successfully range-expanding plant species can be less attacked by aboveground and belowground enemies than congeneric natives. Plant enemies may be controlled naturally by complex bottom-up and top-down interactions with their hosts, however, little is known about how these interactions may operate in the new range. Here, we examine how ...

  6. Growth-form and spatiality driving the functional difference of native and alien aquatic plants in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukács, Balázs A; Vojtkó, Anna E; Mesterházy, Attila; Molnár V, Attila; Süveges, Kristóf; Végvári, Zsolt; Brusa, Guido; Cerabolini, Bruno E L

    2017-02-01

    Trait-based approaches are widely used in community ecology and invasion biology to unravel underlying mechanisms of vegetation dynamics. Although fundamental trade-offs between specific traits and invasibility are well described among terrestrial plants, little is known about their role and function in aquatic plant species. In this study, we examine the functional differences of aquatic alien and native plants stating that alien and native species differ in selected leaf traits. Our investigation is based on 60 taxa (21 alien and 39 native) collected from 22 freshwater units of Hungarian and Italian lowlands and highlands. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effects of nativeness on four fundamental traits (leaf area, leaf dry matter content, specific leaf area, and leaf nitrogen content), while the influence of growth-form, altitude, and site were employed simultaneously. We found significantly higher values of leaf areas and significantly lower values of specific leaf areas for alien species if growth-form was included in the model as an additional predictor.We showed that the trait-based approach of autochthony can apply to aquatic environments similar to terrestrial ones, and leaf traits have relevance in explaining aquatic plant ecology whether traits are combined with growth-forms as a fixed factor. Our results confirm the importance of traits related to competitive ability in the process of aquatic plant invasions. Alien aquatic plants can be characterized as species producing soft leaves faster. We argue that the functional traits of alien aquatic plants are strongly growth-form dependent. Using the trait-based approach, we found reliable characteristics of aquatic plants related to species invasions, which might be used, for example, in conservation management.

  7. An invasive clonal plant benefits from clonal integration more than a co-occurring native plant in nutrient-patchy and competitive environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Wenhua; Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Xie, Dong; Liu, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, however, little is known about the different roles of clonal integration effects between invasive and native plants. Here, we hypothesize that clonal integration affect growth, photosynthetic performance, biomass allocation and thus competitive ability of invasive and native clonal plants, and invasive clonal plants benefit from clonal integration more than co-occurring native plants in heterogeneous habitats. To test these hypotheses, two stoloniferous clonal plants, Alternanthera philoxeroides (invasive), Jussiaea repens (native) were studied in China. The apical parts of both species were grown either with or without neighboring vegetation and the basal parts without competitors were in nutrient- rich or -poor habitats, with stolon connections were either severed or kept intact. Competition significantly reduced growth and photosynthetic performance of the apical ramets in both species, but not the biomass of neighboring vegetation. Without competition, clonal integration greatly improved the growth and photosynthetic performance of both species, especially when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. When grown with neighboring vegetation, growth of J. repens and photosynthetic performance of both species were significantly enhanced by clonal integration with the basal parts in both nutrient-rich and -poor habitats, while growth and relative neighbor effect (RNE) of A. philoxeroides were greatly improved by clonal integration only when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. Moreover, clonal integration increased A. philoxeroides's biomass allocation to roots without competition, but decreased it with competition, especially when the basal ramets were in nutrient-rich sections. Effects of clonal integration on biomass allocation of J. repens was similar to that of A. philoxeroides but with less significance. These results supported our hypothesis that invasive clonal plants A. philoxeroides benefits

  8. Northward invading non-native vascular plant species in and adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wein, R.W.; Wein, G.; Bahret, S.; Cody, W.J. (Alberta University, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Canadian Circumpolar Institute)

    A survey of the non-native vascular plant species in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada's largest forested National Park, documented their presence and abundance in key locations. Most of the fifty-four species (nine new records) were found in disturbed sites including roadsides, settlements, farms, areas of altered hydrological regimes, recent bums, and intensive bison grazing. Species that have increased most in geographic area and abundance in recent years include [ital Agropyron repens], [ital Bromus inermis], [ital Chenopodium album], [ital Melilotus spp.], [ital Trifolium spp.], [ital Plantago major], [ital Achillea millefolium], [ital Crepis tectorum] and [ital Sonchus arvensis]. An additional 20 species, now common in the Peace River and Fort Vermilion areas, have the potential to invade the Park if plant communities are subjected to additional stress as northern climates are modified by the greenhouse effect and as other human-caused activities disturb the vegetation. It is recommended that permanent plots be located in key locations and monitored for species invasion and changing abundances as input to management plans.

  9. Endophytes from an Australian native plant are a promising source of industrially useful enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaferanloo, Bita; Virkar, Aditya; Mahon, Peter J; Palombo, Enzo A

    2013-02-01

    Endophytes are microorganisms that live within plant tissues that are potential sources of novel bioactive compounds, including enzymes. We have identified endophytes of the Australian native plant Eremophilia longifolia which were screened for the production of industrially useful enzymes. Seventeen fungal endophytes were isolated from the leaves of E. longifolia and enzyme production was investigated within a range of pH (3.5, 5.5, 7 and 9) and temperatures (9, 25, 37 and 50 °C). Amylase was the most common enzyme encountered with numerous isolates showing production throughout the temperature and pH ranges. Protease production was also seen over the conditions tested but was more dominant at lower pH and temperature. Activity was not observed for other enzymes including ligninase, xylanase and cellobiohydrolase. Enzymes from isolates of Preussia minima, Alternaria sp. and an unclassified fungus, which showed highest activity in screening assays, were investigated further. Enzyme production was verified by zymography and the amylase activity of P. minima was found to be significantly greater than that of Aspergillus oryzae particularly in alkaline conditions and low temperature which are desirable properties for the detergent industry. This work shows that enzymes with potential use in industry can be readily identified in fungal endophytes.

  10. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects...

  11. Impact of non-native plant removal on lizards in riparian habitats in the southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather L. Bateman; Alice Chung-MacCoubrey; Howard L. Snell

    2008-01-01

    Many natural processes in the riparian cottonwood (Populus deltoides) forest of the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) in the southwestern United States have been disrupted or altered, allowing non-native plants such as saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) to establish. We investigated...

  12. Spatial and temporal variability of canopy cover and understory light in a Cerrado of Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JP. Lemos-Filho

    Full Text Available Canopy cover has significant effects on the understory environment, including upon light availability for seedling growth. The aim of the present study was to verify spatial heterogeneity and seasonal changes in the canopy cover of a dense Cerrado area, and their relationship to understory photosynthetic active radiation availability. Leaf area index (LAI values in the rainy season varied from 0.9 to 4.83, with 40% of the values ranging from 4.0 to 5.0, while in the dry season LAI varied from 0.74 to 3.3, with 53% of the values oscilating from 2.0 to 3.0. Understory light (Qi and the Lambert-Beer ratio (Qi/Qo were taken around noon on sunny days (between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. They were also statistically different (p < 0.01 between the dry and wet seasons, with 72% of sampled points in the rainy season presenting photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD values lower than 250 μmol.m-2/s around noon, whereas in the dry season, most PPFD values varied from 1500 to 1817 μmol.m-2/s , thus providing high light availability for understory plants. In most of the studied sites, understory plants did not even receive enough light for 50% of their photosynthetic capacity in the wet season. In contrast during the dry season, Qi/Qo values of 0.8 to 1.0 were observed in more than 50% of the points, thereby allowing for photosynthetic light saturation. Thus, light variability around noon was higher during the dry season than in the wet season, its heterogeneity being related to spatial complexity in the canopy cover.

  13. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  14. Elevated CO₂ does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Laura G; Shafroth, Patrick B; Blumenthal, Dana M; Morgan, Jack A; LeCain, Daniel R

    2013-01-01

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO₂ might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. We examined the effects of CO₂ and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoides spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO₂-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70-97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO₂ increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO₂ increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ¹³C(leaf) ), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. The moderate positive effects of elevated CO₂ on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO₂, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  15. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Laura G.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    * In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. * We examined the effects of CO2 and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoides spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO2-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. * Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70–97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO2 increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO2 increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ13Cleaf), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. * The moderate positive effects of elevated CO2 on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO2, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  16. Exotic plant species associations with horse trails, old roads, and intact native communities in the Missouri Ozarks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroh, E.D.; Struckhoff, M.A.

    2009-01-01

    We compared the extent to which exotic species are associated with horse trails, old roads, and intact communities within three native vegetation types in Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri. We used a general linear model procedure and a Bonferroni multiple comparison test to compare exotic species richness, exotic to native species ratios, and exotic species percent cover across three usage types (horse trails, old roads, and intact communities) and three community types (river bottoms, upland waterways, and glades). We found that both exotic species richness and the ratio of exotic species to native species were greater in plots located along horse trails than in plots located either in intact native communities or along old roads. Native community types did not differ in the number of exotic species present, but river bottoms had a significantly higher exotic to native species ratio than glades. Continued introduction of exotic plant propagules may explain why horse trails contain more exotic species than other areas in a highly disturbed landscape.

  17. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnoli, Susan M; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Cushman, J Hall

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects.

  18. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m(3) ha(-1), respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

  19. A native plant growth promoting bacterium, Bacillus sp. B55, rescues growth performance of an ethylene-insensitive plant genotype in nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldau, Dorothea G; Long, Hoang H; Baldwin, Ian T

    2012-01-01

    Many plants have intimate relationships with soil microbes, which improve the plant's growth and fitness through a variety of mechanisms. Bacillus sp. isolates are natural root-associated bacteria, isolated from Nicotiana attenuata plant roots growing in native soils. A particular isolate B55, was found to have dramatic plant growth promotion (PGP) effects on wild type (WT) and transgenic plants impaired in ethylene (ET) perception (35S-etr1), the genotype from which this bacterium was first isolated. B55 not only improves N. attenuata growth under in vitro, glasshouse, and field conditions, but it also "rescues" many of the deleterious phenotypes associated with ET insensitivity. Most notably, B55 dramatically increases the growth and survival of 35S-etr1 plants under field conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a PGP effect in a native plant-microbe association under natural conditions. Our study demonstrates that this facultative mutualistic plant-microbe interaction should be viewed as part of the plant's extended phenotype. Possible modalities of recruitment and mechanisms of PGP are discussed.

  20. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  1. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  2. Mercury capture by native fly ash carbons in coal-fired power plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hower, James C.; Senior, Constance L.; Suuberg, Eric M.; Hurt, Robert H.; Wilcox, Jennifer L.; Olson, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    The control of mercury in the air emissions from coal-fired power plants is an on-going challenge. The native unburned carbons in fly ash can capture varying amounts of Hg depending upon the temperature and composition of the flue gas at the air pollution control device, with Hg capture increasing with a decrease in temperature; the amount of carbon in the fly ash, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in carbon; and the form of the carbon and the consequent surface area of the carbon, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in surface area. The latter is influenced by the rank of the feed coal, with carbons derived from the combustion of low-rank coals having a greater surface area than carbons from bituminous- and anthracite-rank coals. The chemistry of the feed coal and the resulting composition of the flue gas enhances Hg capture by fly ash carbons. This is particularly evident in the correlation of feed coal Cl content to Hg oxidation to HgCl2, enhancing Hg capture. Acid gases, including HCl and H2SO4 and the combination of HCl and NO2, in the flue gas can enhance the oxidation of Hg. In this presentation, we discuss the transport of Hg through the boiler and pollution control systems, the mechanisms of Hg oxidation, and the parameters controlling Hg capture by coal-derived fly ash carbons. PMID:24223466

  3. Anesthetic activity of Brazilian native plants in silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenise de Lima Silva

    Full Text Available There is an increasing demand for inexpensive and safe anesthetics that can reduce fish stress caused by some procedures such as capture and handling. In this context, the present study evaluated the potential of essential oils (EO of three Brazilian native plants (Hesperozygis ringens, Lippia sidoides and Ocotea acutifolia as anesthetics for the silver catfish - Rhamdia quelen. Moreover, an analysis was made of the chemical composition of these oils and their influence on stress parameter. EO of H. ringens and O. acutifolia were effective as anesthetics, without behavioral side effects. EO of O. acutifolia (150 µL L-1 promoted an increase in blood glucose level. Regarding to the composition, pulegone accounts for 96.63% of the EO of H. ringens, and caryophyllene oxide amounts to 56.90% of the EO of O. acutifolia. Two chemotypes, thymol and carvacrol (68.40% and 67.89%, respectively were verified for EO of L. sidoides. Both samples of EO of L. sidoides showed anesthetic activity in silver catfish, but exposure also caused loss of mucus and mortality. Thus, only the EO of H. ringens and O. acutifolia are advised for anesthetic use

  4. Decreasing deer browsing pressure influenced understory vegetation dynamics over 30 years

    OpenAIRE

    Boulanger, Vincent; Baltzinger, Christophe; Saïd, Sonia; Ballon, Philippe; Picard, Jean-Francois; Dupouey, Jean-Luc

    2015-01-01

    Key message Thanks to the concomitant recordings of vegetation and deer browsing sampled first in 1976, then resurveyed in 2006, we show that forest plant communities shifted in response to deer population dynamics, stand management and eutrophication. Context and aims High deer populations alter forest under-story dynamics worldwide. However, no study ever attempted to rank the importance of deer herbivory relatively to other environmental drivers. In the Arc-en-Barrois National Forest (...

  5. Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Alice Boyle

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive phenologies of plants are constrained by climate in highly seasonal regions. In contrast, plants growing in wet tropical forests are freed from many abiotic constraints, which in canopy tree communities lead to a rich diversity of phenological patterns within and among individuals, species and communities. However, basic descriptions of tropical phenological patterns and the processes that shape them are rare. Here, we document the individual-, population-, and landscape-level phenological patterns of two dominant families of understory woody plants important to avian frugivores, the Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, along an elevational transect in Costa Rica. The 226 individual plants belonging to 35 species in this study, varied in the number of reproductive bouts/year, and the timing, duration, and synchrony of reproductive stages. This variation was not related to factors related to their interactions with mutualists and antagonists, nor did it appear to be constrained by phylogeny. Diverse phenological patterns among species led to relatively aseasonal patterns at the community and landscape level. Overall, evidence for biotic processes shaping temporal patterns of fruiting phenology was weak or absent. These findings reveal a number of unexplained patterns, and suggest that factors shaping phenology in relatively aseasonal forests operate in idiosyncratic ways at the species level.

  6. Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenguo Wang

    Full Text Available Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080 on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of "precipitation of the warmest quarter" and "annual mean temperature" were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China.

  7. Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenguo; Tang, Xiaoyu; Zhu, Qili; Pan, Ke; Hu, Qichun; He, Mingxiong; Li, Jiatang

    2014-01-01

    Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080) on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax) were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of "precipitation of the warmest quarter" and "annual mean temperature" were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China.

  8. A native plant growth promoting bacterium, Bacillus megaterium B55, rescues growth performance of an ethylene insensitive plant genotype in nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothea Gertrud Meldau

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Many plants have intimate relationships with soil microbes that through a variety of mechanisms improve the plant’s growth and fitness. Bacillus megaterium is a natural endophyte isolated from Nicotiana attenuata plant roots growing in native soils. A particular isolate (B55, was found to have dramatic plant growth promoting (PGP effects on wild type (WT and transgenic plants impaired in ethylene (ET perception (35S-etr1, the genotype from which this bacteria was first isolated. B55 not only improves N. attenuata growth under in vitro, glasshouse and field conditions, but it also rescues many of the deleterious phenotypes associated with ET insensitivity. Most notably, B55 dramatically increases the growth and survival of 35S-etr1 plants under field conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a PGP effect in a native plant-microbe association under natural conditions. Our study demonstrates that this facultative mutualistic plant-microbe interaction should be viewed as part of the plant’s extended phenotype. Possible modalities of recruitment and mechanisms of PGP are discussed.

  9. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more

  10. High N, dry: Experimental nitrogen deposition exacerbates native shrub loss and nonnative plant invasion during extreme drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valliere, Justin M; Irvine, Irina C; Santiago, Louis; Allen, Edith B

    2017-03-20

    Hotter, longer, and more frequent global change-type drought events may profoundly impact terrestrial ecosystems by triggering widespread vegetation mortality. However, severe drought is only one component of global change, and ecological effects of drought may be compounded by other drivers, such as anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition and nonnative plant invasion. Elevated N deposition, for example, may reduce drought tolerance through increased plant productivity, thereby contributing to drought-induced mortality. High N availability also often favors invasive, nonnative plant species, and the loss of woody vegetation due to drought may create a window of opportunity for these invaders. We investigated the effects of multiple levels of simulated N deposition on a Mediterranean-type shrubland plant community in southern California from 2011 to 2016, a period coinciding with an extreme, multi-year drought in the region. We hypothesized that N addition would increase native shrub productivity, but that this would increase susceptibility to drought and result in increased shrub loss over time. We also predicted that N addition would favor nonnatives, especially annual grasses, leading to higher biomass and cover of these species. Consistent with these hypotheses, we found that high N availability increased native shrub canopy loss and mortality, likely due to the higher productivity and leaf area and reduced water-use efficiency we observed in shrubs subject to N addition. As native shrub cover declined, we also observed a concomitant increase in cover and biomass of nonnative annuals, particularly under high levels of experimental N deposition. Together, these results suggest that the impacts of extended drought on shrubland ecosystems may be more severe under elevated N deposition, potentially contributing to the widespread loss of native woody species and vegetation type-conversion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.; DiManno, Nicole; D’Antonio, Carla M.

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of “nurse plants” an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  12. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselquist, N J; Metcalfe, D B; Marshall, J D; Lucas, R W; Högberg, P

    2016-03-01

    Given the strong coupling between the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, there is substantial interest in understanding how N availability affects C cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in ecosystems limited by N. However, most studies in temperate and boreal forests have focused on the effects of N addition on tree growth. By comparison, less is known about the effects of N availability on the cycling of C in understory vegetation despite some evidence that dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens play an important role in the forest C balance. In this study, we used an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling technique to examine the short-term dynamics of C partitioning in understory vegetation in three boreal Pinus sylvestris forest stands exposed to different rates of N addition: a low and high N addition that receive annual additions of NH4NO3 of 20 and 100 kg N/ha, respectively, and this is a typo. It should be an unfertilized control. Labeling was conducted at two distinct periods (early vs. late growing season), which provided a seasonal picture of how N addition affects C dynamics in understory vegetation. In contrast to what has been found in trees, there was no obvious trend in belowground C partitioning in ericaceous plants in response to N additions or seasonality. Increasing N addition led to a greater percentage of 13C being incorporated into ericaceous leaves with a high turnover, whereas high rates of N addition strongly reduced the incorporation of 13C into less degradable moss tissues. Addition of N also resulted in a greater percentage of the 13C label being respired back to the atmosphere and an overall reduction in total understory carbon use efficiency. Taken together, our results suggest a faster cycling of C in understory vegetation with increasing N additions; yet the magnitude of this general response was strongly dependent on the amount of N added and varied seasonally. These results provide some of the first in situ C and N partitioning

  13. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi T Makino

    Full Text Available When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies, and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant-pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly.

  14. Native herbaceous plant species with potential use in phytoremediation of heavy metals, spotlight on wetlands - A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyuela Leguizamo, Mayerly Alexandra; Fernández Gómez, Wilmar Darío; Sarmiento, Martha Cecilia Gutiérrez

    2017-02-01

    Soil, air and water pollution caused by the mobility and solubility of heavy metals significantly damages the environment, human health, plants and animals. One common in situ method used for the decontamination of heavy metals is phytoremediation. This usually involves the use of exotic species. However, these species may exhibit invasive behavior, thereby, affect the environmental and ecological dynamics of the ecosystem into which they are introduced. This paper focuses on some native herbaceous plant species reported on the wetlands of Bogota, Colombia, with potential use in phytoremediation of heavy metals. To do that, the authors identified and searched a bibliography based on key words related to heavy metal decontamination. In addition, authors gathered and analyzed relevant information that allowed the comprehension of the phytoremediation process. This paper suggests the study of 41 native or endemic species regarding their behavior towards heavy metal contamination. From a survey of herbaceous plants reported in Bogota, native and endemic species that belong to predominant families in heavy metal accumulation processes were selected. Although found in Colombian's wetlands, these can also be found worldwide. Therefore, they are of great interest due to their global presence and their potential for use in phytoremediation. The current research about the development of phytoremediation focuses on the identification of new herbaceous species able to decontaminate substratum polluted with heavy metals to contribute with the investigation of the ecology and environment of the nature's remnants in urban wetland ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Genetic diversity and antifungal activity of native Pseudomonas isolated from maize plants grown in a central region of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Paula; Cavigliasso, Andrea; Príncipe, Analía; Godino, Agustina; Jofré, Edgardo; Mori, Gladys; Fischer, Sonia

    2012-07-01

    Pseudomonas strains producing antimicrobial secondary metabolites play an important role in the biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi. In this study, native Pseudomonas spp. isolates were obtained from the rhizosphere, endorhizosphere and bulk soil of maize fields in Córdoba (Argentina) during both the vegetative and reproductive stages of plant growth. However, the diversity based on repetitive-element PCR (rep-PCR) and amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) fingerprinting was not associated with the stage of plant growth. Moreover, the antagonistic activity of the native isolates against phytopathogenic fungi was evaluated in vitro. Several strains inhibited members of the genera Fusarium, Sclerotinia or Sclerotium and this antagonism was related to their ability to produce secondary metabolites. A phylogenetic analysis based on rpoB or 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that the isolates DGR22, MGR4 and MGR39 with high biocontrol potential belonged to the genus Pseudomonas. Some native strains of Pseudomonas were also able to synthesise indole acetic acid and to solubilise phosphate, thus possessing potential plant growth-promoting (PGPR) traits, in addition to their antifungal activity. It was possible to establish a relationship between PGPR or biocontrol activity and the phylogeny of the strains. The study allowed the creation of a local collection of indigenous Pseudomonas which could be applied in agriculture to minimise the utilisation of chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

  16. Educational outreach and impacts of white-tailed deer browse on native and invasive plants at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Lisa O.

    Overabundance of deer can assist the intrusion of invasive plants through browse, leading to homogenization of plant communities. Public attitudes towards native and invasive plant species and white-tailed deer browse related to personal experiences, can be changed through education focusing public awareness of ramifications of deer browse on native and invasive plants. I developed an interactive, interpretive Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure of the "You Can Trail" to provide an educational outreach program for visitors of Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center that includes ecologically important native and invasive plants species from my investigation. This research study focuses on the overall abundance of native and invasive plant species once Odocoileus virginianus have been removed from the landscape during collection periods in June and September 2013 from exclosure and access plots that were maintained for seven years. Similarity of abundance were found in native and invasive abundance of forbs, bushes and percentage of ground cover. Differences included native bush volume being greater than invasive bush volume in the access plot in June with opposing results in the exclosure plot, being greater in invasive bush volume. However, in September, native and invasive bush volume was similar within the exclosure plot, while invasive bush volume decreased in the access plot. Invasive vines recorded in the June access plot were absent in the September collection period.

  17. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F; Havrilla, Caroline A; DeFalco, Lesley A; Esque, Todd C; Custer, Nathan A; Wood, Troy E

    2017-03-01

    divergence in Sphaeralcea. We describe multivariate statistical approaches for interpolating spatial patterns of adaptive divergence while accounting for potential bias due to neutral genetic structure. Through a spatial bootstrapping procedure, we also visualize patterns in the magnitude of model uncertainty. Finally, we introduce an interactive, distance-based mapping approach that explicitly links marker-based models of adaptive divergence with local or admixture seed sourcing strategies, promoting effective native plant restoration.

  18. Role of Native and Exotic Earthworms in Plant Biopolymer Dynamics in Forest Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many forests within northern North America are experiencing the introduction of earthworms for the first time, presumably since before the last major glaciation. Forest dynamics are undergoing substantial changes because of the activity of the mainly European lumbricid species. Documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations have all been documented in invaded zones. Two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) lie within the zones of invasion and exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. Considerations of carbon accrual dynamics and relative input of above vs. below ground plant input in these young successional systems do not consider the potential impact of these ecosystem engineers. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicates how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA

  19. Landscape genetic approaches to guide native plant restoration in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Havrilla, Caroline A.; DeFalco, Lesley; Esque, Todd; Custer, Nathan; Wood, Troy E.

    2016-01-01

    divergence in Sphaeralcea. We describe multivariate statistical approaches for interpolating spatial patterns of adaptive divergence while accounting for potential bias due to neutral genetic structure. Through a spatial bootstrapping procedure, we also visualize patterns in the magnitude of model uncertainty. Finally, we introduce an interactive, distance-based mapping approach that explicitly links marker-based models of adaptive divergence with local or admixture seed sourcing strategies, promoting effective native plant restoration.

  20. The invasive wetland plant Alternanthera philoxeroides shows a higher tolerance to waterlogging than its native Congener Alternanthera sessilis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Chen

    Full Text Available Plant invasion is one of the major threats to natural ecosystems. Phenotypic plasticity is considered to be important for promoting plant invasiveness. High tolerance of stress can also increase survival of invasive plants in adverse habitats. Limited growth and conservation of carbohydrate are considered to increase tolerance of flooding in plants. However, few studies have examined whether invasive species shows a higher phenotypic plasticity in response to waterlogging or a higher tolerance of waterlogging (lower plasticity than native species. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to compare the growth and morphological and physiological responses to waterlogging of the invasive, clonal, wetland species Alternanthera philoxeroides with those of its co-occurring, native, congeneric, clonal species Alternanthera sessilis. Plants of A. philoxeroides and A. sessilis were subjected to three treatments (control, 0 and 60 cm waterlogging. Both A. philoxeroides and A. sessilis survived all treatments. Overall growth was lower in A. philoxeroides than in A. sessilis, but waterlogging negatively affected the growth of A. philoxeroides less strongly than that of A. sessilis. Alternanthera philoxeroides thus showed less sensitivity of growth traits (lower plasticity and higher waterlogging tolerance. Moreover, the photosynthetic capacity of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of A. sessilis during waterlogging. Alternanthera philoxeroides also had higher total non-structural and non-soluble carbohydrate concentrations than A. sessilis at the end of treatments. Our results suggest that higher tolerance to waterlogging and higher photosynthetic capacity may partly explain the invasion success of A. philoxeroides in wetlands.

  1. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0-30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant-soil-water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation.

  2. Involvement of allelopathy in inhibition of understory growth in red pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi; Kimura, Fukiko; Ohno, Osamu; Suenaga, Kiyotake

    2017-07-12

    Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) forests are characterized by sparse understory vegetation although sunlight intensity on the forest floor is sufficient for undergrowth. The possible involvement of pine allelopathy in the establishment of the sparse understory vegetation was investigated. The soil of the red pine forest floor had growth inhibitory activity on six test plant species including Lolium multiflorum, which was observed at the edge of the forest but not in the forest. Two growth inhibitory substances were isolated from the soil and characterized to be 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid. Those compounds are probably formed by degradation process of resin acids. Resin acids are produced by pine and delivered into the soil under the pine trees through balsam and defoliation. Threshold concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid for the growth inhibition of L. multiflorum were 30 and 10μM, respectively. The concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid in the soil were 312 and 397μM, respectively, which are sufficient concentrations to cause the growth inhibition because of the threshold. These results suggest that those compounds are able to work as allelopathic agents and may prevent from the invasion of herbaceous plants into the forests by inhibiting their growth. Therefore, allelopathy of red pine may be involved in the formation of the sparse understory vegetation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Airborne laser scanner (LiDAR) proxies for understory light conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Cici; Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Bøcher, Peder Klith

    2013-01-01

    Canopy cover and canopy closure are two closely related measures of vegetation structure. They are used for estimating understory light conditions and their influence on a broad range of biological components in forest ecosystems, from the demography and population dynamics of individual species...... to community structure. Angular canopy closure is more closely related to the direct and indirect light experienced by a plant or an animal than vertical canopy cover, but more challenging to estimate. We used airborne laser scanner (ALS) data to estimate canopy cover for 210 5-m radius vegetation plots...... of azimuth and zenith angle intervals which contained points. We compared these estimates with field-based estimates using densiometer for 60 vegetation plots in forest. Finally, we compared ALS-based estimates of canopy cover and canopy closure to field-based estimates of understory light, based...

  4. Sources and modes of action of invasive knotweed allelopathy: the effects of leaf litter and trained soil on the germination and growth of native plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madalin Parepa

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive knotweeds, native to Eastern Asia, are among the most dominant plant invaders of European and North American temperate ecosystems. Recent studies indicate that one cause of this dominance might be allelopathy, but the possible sources and modes of action of this allelopathy are insufficiently understood. Here, we asked whether the invasive knotweed Fallopia × bohemica can exert allelopathic effects on native plants also through its leaf litter, or through persistent soil contaminants, and whether these affect the germination or growth of native plants. In a germination experiment with nine native species neither litter leachate, an aqueous extract of knotweed leaves added to the soil, nor trained soil with a history of Fallopia pre-cultivation suppressed the germination or early growth of natives. A mesocosm study with experimental native communities showed that the presence of F. × bohemica, although not a dominant in these communities, caused significant shifts of life-history strategy in two dominant natives, and that similar effects could be elicited through litter leachates or trained soil alone. However, there were hardly any effects on the biomass of natives. Our study indicates that knotweed allelopathy acts on the growth rather than germination of natives, and that soil contamination through persistent allelochemicals may not be a significant problem in habitat restoration. It also shows that allelopathic effects can sometimes be subtle changes in life-history and allocation patterns of the affected species.

  5. The dark side is not fastidious--dark septate endophytic fungi of native and invasive plants of semiarid sandy areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Dániel G; Pintye, Alexandra; Kovács, Gábor M

    2012-01-01

    Dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi represent a frequent root-colonizing fungal group common in environments with strong abiotic stress, such as (semi)arid ecosystems. This work aimed to study the DSE fungi colonizing the plants of semiarid sandy grasslands with wood steppe patches on the Great Hungarian Plain. As we may assume that fungi colonizing both invasive and native species are generalists, root associated fungi (RAF) were isolated from eight native and three invasive plant species. The nrDNA sequences of the isolates were used for identification. To confirm that the fungi were endophytes an artificial inoculation system was used to test the isolates: we considered a fungus as DSE if it colonized the roots without causing a negative effect on the plant and formed microsclerotia in the roots. According to the analyses of the ITS sequence of nrDNA the 296 isolates clustered into 41 groups. We found that 14 of these 41 groups were DSE, representing approximately 60% of the isolates. The main DSE groups were generalist and showed no specificity to area or season and colonized both native and invasive species, demonstrating that exotic plants are capable of using the root endophytic fungi of the invaded areas. The DSE community of the region shows high similarity to those found in arid grasslands of North America. Taking into account a previous hypothesis about the common root colonizers of those grasslands and our results reported here, we hypothesize that plants of (semi)arid grasslands share common dominant members of the DSE fungal community on a global scale.

  6. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    The paper compares distributions of native weedy species and exotic species with respect to three kinds of disturbance, roads, trails, and prairie dog towns. Data were collected at the north and south units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and at Wind Cave National Park. The paper concludes that many exotic species differ substantially from native weeds in their exploitation of disturbance. It is thus not useful to manage exotics as if they were just another weed.

  7. Evaluating the use of the belt transect method in determining native plant composition changes in upland and wet meadow habitats on Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Determine if the belt transect method can be used to detect a 10% increase in native plant composition on upland and wet meadow habitats on Lacreek NWR within a 10...

  8. Purification and characterization of native and recombinant SaPIN2a, a plant sieve element-localized proteinase inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen-Yu; Ding, Ling-Wen; Ge, Zhi-Juan; Wang, Zhaoyu; Wang, Fanghai; Li, Ning; Xu, Zeng-Fu

    2007-01-01

    SaPIN2a encodes a proteinase inhibitor in nightshade (Solanum americanum), which is specifically localized to the enucleate sieve elements. It has been proposed to play an important role in phloem development by regulating proteolysis in sieve elements. In this study, we purified and characterized native SaPIN2a from nightshade stems and recombinant SaPIN2a expressed in Escherichia coli. Purified native SaPIN2a was found as a charge isomer family of homodimers, and was weakly glycosylated. Native SaPIN2a significantly inhibited serine proteinases such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and subtilisin, with the most potent inhibitory activity on subtilisin. It did not inhibit cysteine proteinase papain and aspartic proteinase cathepsin D. Recombinant SaPIN2a had a strong inhibitory effect on chymotrypsin, but its inhibitory activities toward trypsin and especially toward subtilisin were greatly reduced. In addition, native SaPIN2a can effectively inhibit midgut trypsin-like activities from Trichoplusia ni and Spodoptera litura larvae, suggesting a potential for the production of insect-resistant transgenic plants.

  9. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Dale, Bruce E; Chundawat, Shishir P S

    2015-07-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  10. Invading from the garden? A comparison of leaf herbivory for exotic and native plants in natural and ornamental settings

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Stephen F.Matter; Adam M.Stein; Richard Stokes; Brandy S.Wilkerson; Jessica R.Brzyski; Christopher J.Harrison; Sara Hyams; Clement Loo; Jessica Loomis; Hannah R.Lubbers; Leeann Seastrum; Trevor I.Stamper

    2012-01-01

    The enemies release hypothesis proposes that exotic species can become invasive by escaping from predators and parasites in their novel environment.Agrawal et al.(Enemy release? An experiment with congeneric plant pairs and diverse above-and below-ground enemies.Ecology,86,2979-2989) proposed that areas or times in which damage to introduced species is low provide opportunities for the invasion of native habitat.We tested whether ornamental settings may provide areas with low levels of herbivory for trees and shrubs,potentially facilitating invasion success.First,we compared levels of leaf herbivory among native and exotic species in ornamental and natural settings in Cincinnati,Ohio,United States.In the second study,we compared levels of herbivory for invasive and noninvasive exotic species between natural and ornamental settings.We found lower levels of leaf damage for exotic species than for native species; however,we found no differences in the amount of leaf damage suffered in ornamental or natural settings.Our results do not provide any evidence that ornamental settings afford additional release from herbivory for exotic plant species.

  11. Do heat and smoke increase emergence of exotic and native plants in the matorral of central Chile?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Javier A.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A.; Gómez-González, Susana; Montenegro, Marco Molina; Jaksic, Fabian M.

    2009-03-01

    We studied the effect of heat shock and wood-fueled smoke on the emergence of native and exotic plant species in soil samples obtained in an evergreen shrubland of central Chile, located on the eastern foothills of the Coastal Range of Lampa. Immediately after collection samples were dried and stored under laboratory condition. For each two transect, 10 samples were randomly chosen, and one of the following treatments was applied: 1) Heat-shock treatment. 2) Plant-produced smoke treatment. 3) Combined heat-and-smoke treatment. 4) Control, corresponding to samples not subjected to treatment. Twenty-three species, representing 12 families, emerged from the soil samples. The best-represented families were Poaceae and Asteraceae. All of the emerged species were herbs, 21 were annuals, and 14 were exotic to Chile. Fire-related triggers used in this study did not increase the emergence and/or abundance of exotic species with respect to natives in soil samples. Interestingly, this study provides evidence that heat-shock can increase the emergence of native herbs.

  12. Using hyperspectral imaging to determine germination of native Australian plant seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nansen, Christian; Zhao, Genpin; Dakin, Nicole; Zhao, Chunhui; Turner, Shane R

    2015-04-01

    We investigated the ability to accurately and non-destructively determine the germination of three native Australian tree species, Acacia cowleana Tate (Fabaceae), Banksia prionotes L.F. (Proteaceae), and Corymbia calophylla (Lindl.) K.D. Hill & L.A.S. Johnson (Myrtaceae) based on hyperspectral imaging data. While similar studies have been conducted on agricultural and horticultural seeds, we are unaware of any published studies involving reflectance-based assessments of the germination of tree seeds. Hyperspectral imaging data (110 narrow spectral bands from 423.6nm to 878.9nm) were acquired of individual seeds after 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50days of standardized rapid ageing. At each time point, seeds were subjected to hyperspectral imaging to obtain reflectance profiles from individual seeds. A standard germination test was performed, and we predicted that loss of germination was associated with a significant change in seed coat reflectance profiles. Forward linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used to select the 10 spectral bands with the highest contribution to classifications of the three species. In all species, germination decreased from over 90% to below 20% in about 10-30days of experimental ageing. P50 values (equal to 50% germination) for each species were 19.3 (A. cowleana), 7.0 (B. prionotes) and 22.9 (C. calophylla) days. Based on independent validation of classifications of hyperspectral imaging data, we found that germination of Acacia and Corymbia seeds could be classified with over 85% accuracy, while it was about 80% for Banksia seeds. The selected spectral bands in each LDA-based classification were located near known pigment peaks involved in photosynthesis and/or near spectral bands used in published indices to predict chlorophyll or nitrogen content in leaves. The results suggested that seed germination may be successfully classified (predicted) based on reflectance in narrow spectral bands associated with the primary metabolism

  13. Native plant growth promoting bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and mixed or individual mycorrhizal species improved drought tolerance and oxidative metabolism in Lavandula dentata plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armada, E; Probanza, A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R

    2016-03-15

    This study evaluates the responses of Lavandula dentata under drought conditions to the inoculation with single autochthonous arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (five fungal strains) or with their mixture and the effects of these inocula with a native Bacillus thuringiensis (endophytic bacteria). These microorganisms were drought tolerant and in general, increased plant growth and nutrition. Particularly, the AM fungal mixture and B. thuringiensis maximized plant biomass and compensated drought stress as values of antioxidant activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase APX)] shown. The AMF-bacteria interactions highly reduced the plant oxidative damage of lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA)] and increased the mycorrhizal development (mainly arbuscular formation representative of symbiotic functionality). These microbial interactions explain the highest potential of dually inoculated plants to tolerate drought stress. B. thuringiensis "in vitro" under osmotic stress does not reduce its PGPB (plant growth promoting bacteria) abilities as indole acetic acid (IAA) and ACC deaminase production and phosphate solubilization indicating its capacity to improve plant growth under stress conditions. Each one of the autochthonous fungal strains maintained their particular interaction with B. thuringiensis reflecting the diversity, intrinsic abilities and inherent compatibility of these microorganisms. In general, autochthonous AM fungal species and particularly their mixture with B. thuringiensis demonstrated their potential for protecting plants against drought and helping plants to thrive in semiarid ecosystems.

  14. Prevention, early detection and containment of invasive, nonnative plants in the Hawaiian Islands: current efforts and needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoph Kueffer,; Loope, Lloyd

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: Invasive, non-native plants (or environmental weeds) have long been recognized as a major threat to the native biodiversity of oceanic islands (Cronk & Fuller, 1995; Denslow, 2003). Globally, several hundred non-native plant species have been reported to have major impacts on natural areas on oceanic islands (Kueffer et al., 2009). In Hawaii, at least some 50 non-native plant species reach dominance in natural areas (Kueffer et al., 2009) and many of them are known to impact ecosystem processes or biodiversity. One example is the invasive Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi), which has been shown to be very efficient at utilizing soil nitrogen and can grow six times as rapidly in height, maintain four times more fronds, and produce significantly more fertile fronds per month than the native Hawaiian endemic tree ferns, Cibotium spp. (Durand & Goldstein, 2001a, b). Additionally, while native tree ferns provide an ideal substrate for epiphytic growth of many understory ferns and flowering plants, the Australian tree fern has the effect of impoverishing the understory and failing to support an abundance of native epiphytes (Medeiros & Loope, 1993). Other notorious examples of invasive plant species problematic for biodiversity and ecosystem processes in Hawaii include miconia (Miconia calvescens), strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), albizia (Falcataria moluccana), firetree (Morella faya), clidemia (Clidemia hirta), kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum), and fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), to name just a few. Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) is a recent example of a seriously problematic invasive species for Hawaii’s agriculture and is damaging certain high-elevations native ecosystems as well.

  15. Anthelmintic efficacy of five tropical native Australian plants against Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis in experimentally infected goats (Capra hircus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, F C; Gordon, I J; Knox, M R; Summer, P M; Skerrat, L F; Benvenutti, M A; Saumell, C A

    2012-06-08

    The study of the anthelmintic properties of plants rich in plant secondary metabolites can provide ecologically sound methods for the treatment of parasites on grazing animals. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the anthelmintic effect of five tropical native Australian plant species rich in plant secondary metabolites on adult Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis in experimentally infected goats. Thirty young, nematode-free goats were infected with 2500 H. contortus and 5000 T. colubriformis infective larvae thrice weekly for a week (day 1-7 of the experiment). On day 27 after first infection, the goats were allocated into six groups of five animals per group. From day 28 to day 35, fresh leaves from Acacia salicina, Acacia nilotica, Eucalyptus corymbia, Casuarina cunninghamiana and Eucalyptus drepanophylla were included in the goats diet. Five groups were offered leaves from one of these plant species and one group, the untreated control, received only the basal diet formulated with 20% Medicago sativa and 80% Avena sativa. Following plant material administration, the goats were monitored daily until day 40 and then slaughtered on day 41. Total faecal worm egg output, total production of larvae recovered from faecal cultures, total post-mortem worm burdens and the per capita fecundity of female worms were estimated. The toxicity of the plant species for the goats was measured by histopathological analyses of liver and kidney samples. Results showed that goats feeding on the plant material rich in plant secondary metabolites had significantly lower egg output compared to the control goats (P0.05), the per capita fecundity was significantly reduced by E. corymbia, A. nilotica and A. salicina (Pgoats can benefit from the short-term ingestion of plant secondary metabolites, which reduce the total faecal egg output and thus decrease the potential for re-infection from the pasture. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V. All

  16. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Miguel Grandez-Rios

    Full Text Available Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin.

  17. Non-native plants and soil microbes: potential contributors to the consistent reduction in soil aggregate stability caused by the disturbance of North American grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchicela, Jessica; Vogelsang, Keith M; Schultz, Peggy A; Kaonongbua, Wittaya; Middleton, Elizabeth L; Bever, James D

    2012-10-01

    • Soil aggregate stability is an important ecosystem property that is altered by anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the generalization of these alterations and the identification of the main contributors are limited by the absence of cross-site comparisons and the application of inconsistent methodologies across regions. • We assessed aggregate stability in paired remnant and post-disturbance grasslands across California, shortgrass and tallgrass prairies, and in manipulative experiments of plant composition and soil microbial inoculation. • Grasslands recovering from anthropogenic disturbance consistently had lower aggregate stability than remnants. Across all grasslands, non-native plant diversity was significantly associated with reduced soil aggregate stability. A negative effect of non-native plants on aggregate stability was also observed in a mesocosm experiment comparing native and non-native plants from California grasslands. Moreover, an inoculation study demonstrated that the degradation of the microbial community also contributes to the decline in soil aggregate stability in disturbed grasslands. • Anthropogenic disturbance consistently reduced water-stable aggregates. The stability of aggregates was reduced by non-native plants and the degradation of the native soil microbial community. This latter effect might contribute to the sustained decline in aggregate stability following anthropogenic disturbance. Further exploration is advocated to understand the generality of these potential mechanisms.

  18. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  19. Non-random co-occurrence of native and exotic plant species in Mediterranean grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Miguel, José M.; Martín-Forés, Irene; Acosta-Gallo, Belén; del Pozo, Alejandro; Ovalle, Carlos; Sánchez-Jardón, Laura; Castro, Isabel; Casado, Miguel A.

    2016-11-01

    Invasion by exotic species in Mediterranean grasslands has determined assembly patterns of native and introduced species, knowledge of which provides information on the ecological processes underlying these novel communities. We considered grasslands from Spain and Chile. For each country we considered the whole grassland community and we split species into two subsets: in Chile, species were classified as natives or colonizers (i.e. exotics); in Spain, species were classified as exclusives (present in Spain but not in Chile) or colonizers (Spanish natives and exotics into Chile). We used null models and co-occurrence indices calculated in each country for each one of 15 sites distributed along a precipitation gradient and subjected to similar silvopastoral exploitation. We compared values of species co-occurrence between countries and between species subsets (natives/colonizers in Chile; exclusives/colonizers in Spain) within each country and we characterised them according to climatic variables. We hypothesized that: a) the different coexistence time of the species in both regions should give rise to communities presenting a spatial pattern further from random in Spain than in Chile, b) the co-occurrence patterns in the grasslands are affected by mesoclimatic factors in both regions. The patterns of co-occurrence are similar in Spain and Chile, mostly showing a spatial pattern more segregated than expected by random. The colonizer species are more segregated in Spain than in Chile, possibly determined by the longer residence time of the species in the source area than in the invaded one. The segregation of species in Chile is related to water availability, being species less segregated in habitat with greater water deficit; in Spain no relationship with climatic variables was found. After an invasion process, our results suggest that the possible process of alteration of the original Chilean communities has not prevented the assembly between the native and

  20. Stacked propagation: a new way to grow native plants from root cuttings

    Science.gov (United States)

    David R. Dreesen; Thomas D. Landis; Jeremy R. Pinto

    2006-01-01

    Stacked propagation is a novel method of growing quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx. [Salicaceae]) and other plants that reproduce from underground stems or root cuttings. Because the mother plant is not damaged, it is particularly well suited for rare plants or those that can’t be propagated by normal methods. Our initial trials indicate that...

  1. Cytotoxic Effects of Native and Recombinant Frutalin, a Plant Galactose-Binding Lectin, on HeLa Cervical Cancer Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Oliveira

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Frutalin is the α-D-galactose-binding lectin isolated from breadfruit seeds. Frutalin was obtained from two different sources: native frutalin was purified from its natural origin, and recombinant frutalin was produced and purified from Pichia pastoris. This work aimed to study and compare the effect of native and recombinant frutalin on HeLa cervical cancer cells proliferation and apoptosis. Furthermore, the interaction between frutalin and the HeLa cells was investigated by confocal microscopy. Despite having different carbohydrate-binding affinities, native and recombinant frutalin showed an identical magnitude of cytotoxicity on HeLa cells growth (IC50~100 μg/mL and equally induced cell apoptosis. The interaction studies showed that both lectins were rapidly internalised and targeted to HeLa cell's nucleus. Altogether, these results indicate that frutalin action is not dependent on its sugar-binding properties. This study provides important information about the bioactivity of frutalin and contributes to the understanding of the plant lectins cytotoxic activity.

  2. Forest floor depth mediates understory vigor in xeric Pinus palustris ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiers, J Kevin; O'Brien, Joseph J; Will, Rodney E; Mitchell, Robert J

    2007-04-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands and savannas are among the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world with fire return intervals of 1-10 years. This fire regime has maintained high levels of biodiversity in terms of both species richness and endemism. Land use changes have reduced the area of this ecosystem by >95%, and inadequate fire frequencies threaten many of the remnants today. In the absence of frequent fire, rapid colonization of hardwoods and shrubs occurs, and a broad-leaved midstory develops. This midstory encroachment has been the focus of much research and management concern, largely based on the assumption that the midstory reduces understory plant diversity through direction competition via light interception. The general application of this mechanism of degradation is questionable, however, because midstory density, leaf area, and hardwood species composition vary substantially along a soil moisture gradient from mesic to extremely xeric sites. Reanalysis of recently reported data from xeric longleaf pine communities suggests that the development of the forest floor, a less conspicuous change in forest structure, might cause a decline in plant biodiversity when forests remain unburned. We report here a test of the interactions among fire, litter accumulation, forest floor development, and midstory canopy density on understory plant diversity. Structural equation modeling showed that within xeric sites, forest floor development was the primary factor explaining decreased biodiversity. The only effects of midstory development on biodiversity were those mediated through forest floor development. Boundary line analysis of functional guilds of understory plants showed sensitivity to even minor development of the forest floor in the absence of fire. These results challenge the prevailing management paradigm and suggest that within xeric longleaf pine communities, the primary focus of managed fire regime should be directed toward the

  3. Non-Additive effects on decomposition from mixing litter of the invasive Mikania micrantha H.B.K. with native plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bao-Ming Chen

    Full Text Available A common hypothesis to explain the effect of litter mixing is based on the difference in litter N content between mixed species. Although many studies have shown that litter of invasive non-native plants typically has higher N content than that of native plants in the communities they invade, there has been surprisingly little study of mixing effects during plant invasions. We address this question in south China where Mikania micrantha H.B.K., a non-native vine, with high litter N content, has invaded many forested ecosystems. We were specifically interested in whether this invader accelerated decomposition and how the strength of the litter mixing effect changes with the degree of invasion and over time during litter decomposition. Using litterbags, we evaluated the effect of mixing litter of M. micrantha with the litter of 7 native resident plants, at 3 ratios: M1 (1∶4, = exotic:native litter, M2 (1∶1 and M3 (4∶1, = exotic:native litter over three incubation periods. We compared mixed litter with unmixed litter of the native species to identify if a non-additive effect of mixing litter existed. We found that there were positive significant non-additive effects of litter mixing on both mass loss and nutrient release. These effects changed with native species identity, mixture ratio and decay times. Overall the greatest accelerations of mixture decay and N release tended to be in the highest degree of invasion (mix ratio M3 and during the middle and final measured stages of decomposition. Contrary to expectations, the initial difference in litter N did not explain species differences in the effect of mixing but overall it appears that invasion by M. micrantha is accelerating the decomposition of native species litter. This effect on a fundamental ecosystem process could contribute to higher rates of nutrient turnover in invaded ecosystems.

  4. Assessment of native plant species for phytoremediation of heavy metals growing in the vicinity of NTPC sites, Kahalgaon, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, Alka; Lal, Brij; Rai, Upendra Nath

    2016-01-01

    The present investigation was carried out to screen native plants growing in fly ash (FA) contaminated areas near National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Kahalgaon, Bihar, India with a view to using them for the eco-restoration of the area. A total number of 30 plant species (5 aquatic and 25 terrestrial including 6 ferns) were collected and their diversity status and dominance were also studied. After screening of dominant species at highly polluted site, 8 terrestrial and 5 aquatic plants were analyzed for heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Ni, Si, Al, Pb, Cr, and Cd). Differential accumulations of various heavy metals by different species of plants were observed. Typha latifolia was found to be most efficient metal accumulator of Fe (927), Cu (58), Zn (87), Ni (57), Al (67), Cd (95), and Pb (69), and Azolla pinnata as Cr (93) hyper-accumulator among aquatic species in µg g(-1). In terrestrial species the maximum levels of Fe (998), Zn (81), Ni (93), Al (121), and Si (156) were found in Croton bonplandium. However, there was high spatial variability in total metal accumulation in different species indicated by coefficient of variation (CV%). These results suggest that various aquatic, some dominant terrestrial plants including fern species may be used in a synergistic way to remediate and restore the FA contaminated wastelands.

  5. Bioaccumulation and translocation of heavy metals by nine native plant species grown at a sewage sludge dump site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eid, Ebrahem M; Shaltout, Kamal H

    2016-11-01

    In the present study, nine native plant species were collected to determine their potential to clean up nine heavy metals from soil of a sewage sludge dump site. Almost all nine plant species grown at sewage sludge dump site showed multifold higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to plants grown at the reference site. All the investigated species were characterized by a bioaccumulation factor (BF) > 1.0 for some heavy metals. BF was generally higher for Cd, followed by Pb, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Mn, Zn, and Fe. The translocation factor (TF) varied among plant species, and among heavy metals. For most studied heavy metals, TFs were heavy metals (except Cd, Co, and Pb) in most studied species were positively correlated with those in soil. Such correlations indicate that these species reflect the cumulative effects of environmental pollution from soil, and thereby suggesting their potential use in the biomonitoring of most heavy metals examined. In conclusion, all tissues of nine plant species could act as bioindicators, biomonitors, and remediates of most examined heavy metals. Moreover, Bassia indica, Solanum nigrum, and Pluchea dioscoridis are considered hyperaccumulators of Fe; Amaranthus viridis and Bassia indica are considered hyperaccumulators of Pb; and Portulaca oleracea is considered hyperaccumulator of Mn.

  6. Bioaccumulation of zinc, lead, copper, and cadmium from contaminated sediments by native plant species and Acrida cinerea in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chang; Song, Na; Zeng, Guang-Ming; Jiang, Min; Zhang, Jia-Chao; Hu, Xin-Jiang; Chen, An-Wei; Zhen, Jia-Mei

    2014-03-01

    This research was conducted to search and identify spontaneously growing heavy metal-tolerant plant species that are potentially useful for phytoremediation in contaminated sediment. Five sites were selected for collection of plants growing on polluted shore (river bank) sediment of the Xiang River, China. The concentrations of Zn, Pb, Cu and Cd in plants, sediments, and grasshoppers were determined using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS700, Perkin-Elmer, USA). Considering translocation factor and bioaccumulation factor, Rumex crispus (Polygonaceae), Rumex dentatus (Polygonaceae), and Lagopsis supina (Labiatae) could be potentially useful for phytostabilization of metals. R. crispus can be considered potentially useful for phytoextraction of Cd. In light of the biomagnification factors, grasshoppers are deconcentrators for Pb and Cd, microconcentrators for Zn and macroconcentrators for Cu to the plants, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first report on Zn, Pb, Cu and Cd accumulation in R. crispus and L. supina, providing a pioneer contribution to the very small volume of data available on the potential use of native plant species from contaminated sediments in phytostabilization and phytoremediation technologies.

  7. Baseline survey for rare plant species and native plant communities within the Kamehameha Schools 'Lupea Safe Harbor Planning Project Area, North Kona District, Island of Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobi, James; F. R. Warshauer, frwvolcano@hotmail.com; Jonathan Price, jpprice@hawaii.edu

    2010-01-01

    Kamehameha Schools, in conjunction with several federal, state, and private organizations, has proposed to conduct conservation management on approximately 5,340 ha (~13,200 acres) of land they own in the vicinity of Kīpukalupea in the North Kona District on the island of Hawai'i. The goal of this program is to restore and enhance the habitat to benefit native plant and animal populations that are currently, or were formerly, found in this site. The initial phase of this project has been focused on various activities including conducting baseline surveys for bird and plant species so Kamehameha Schools could develop a Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for the proposed project lands relative to the habitat management and species reintroduction efforts they would like to conduct in the Lupea Project area. This report summarizes methods that were used to collect field data on plant species and communities within the project area, and the results of that initial survey. The information was used to calculate baseline values for all listed threatened or endangered plant species found, or expected to be found, within the project area, and to design a monitoring program to assess changes in plant communities and rare plant species relative to management activities over the duration of the SHA.

  8. Different Responses of an Invasive Clonal Plant Wedelia trilobata and its Native Congener to Gibberellin: Implications for Biological Invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Qi, Shan-Shan; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Wan, Ling-Yun; Huang, Ping; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-02-01

    The invasive clonal plant Wedelia trilobata contains higher levels of ent-kaurane diterpenes, which are precursors of gibberellins (GAs), and higher rates of clonal growth than its native congener W. chinensis in invaded habitats. We hypothesized that the higher levels of endogenous GAs facilitate greater ramet growth in W. trilobata compared with W. chinensis. We quantified endogenous levels of GA1+3 in the two species and compared their growth responses to the changes of endogenous and exogenous GA3 by using short-term and long-term hydroponics experiments. After a period of homogeneous cultivation, levels of endogenous GA1+3 were higher in W. trilobata than in W. chinensis. The reduction of endogenous GAs repressed the emergence of adventitious roots and the growth of W. trilobata in the initial cultivation stage, and inhibited its shoot elongation and biomass. Levels of endogenous GA1+3 were positively correlated with the length of shoots and adventitious roots of W. trilobata. Adventitious roots of W. trilobata also emerged earlier and grew faster when treated with exogenous GA3. In contrast, exogenous GA3 treatment inhibited the length of adventitious roots in W. chinensis, and levels of endogenous GA1+3 did not correlate with shoot or adventitious root length. Our study suggests that GAs accelerate the rapid clonal growth of W. trilobata, more than that of its native congener W. chinensis, illustrating the relationship between plant hormones and the clonal growth of invasive plants. These findings are important for understanding the mechanisms associated with the invasiveness of clonal plants and their potential management.

  9. Differences in preference and performance of the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae populations on native and introduced aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jianqing; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-12-01

    Plant invasions represent ecological opportunities for herbivorous insects able to exploit novel host plants. The availability of new hosts and rapid adaptations may lead to host race formation and ultimately speciation. We studied potential host race formation in the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae, in response to invasion by water chestnut, Trapa natans, in eastern North America. This leaf beetle is well suited for such studies because previous work showed that different herbivore populations follow different "evolutionary pathways" and specialize locally in response to differences in habitat preferences and host plant availability. We compared host preference and performance of G. nymphaeae offspring originating from T. natans and offspring of individuals originating from an ancestral host Nuphar lutea, yellow water lily, on T. natans and three native hosts (N. lutea, Nympheae odorata, and Brasenia schreberi). Regardless of origin (Trapa or Nuphar), adults strongly preferred their native host, N. lutea, over T. natans. Although laboratory survival rates (larva to pupa) were extremely high (80%) regardless of origin or host offered, survival rates in a common garden were greatly reduced, particularly for T. natans (24%) and to a lesser extent on N. lutea (54%), regardless of beetle origin. Larval drowning during more frequent leaf changes when developing on small Trapa leaves seems to be responsible for this difference. Preference of females for N. lutea is beneficial considering the much higher larval survival on the ancestral host. Abundant T. natans where the plant is invasive provides an alternative food source that beetles can use after egg/larval loads on their preferred host reach carrying capacity, but this utilization comes at a cost of high larval mortality.

  10. Differences in competitive ability between plants from nonnative and native populations of a tropical invader relates to adaptive responses in abiotic and biotic environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Yong Liao

    Full Text Available The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more, which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait. In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges.

  11. Photosynthetic responses to understory shade and elevated carbon dioxide concentration in 4 northern hardwood tree species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sefcik, L.T.; Zak, D.R.; Ellsworth, D.S. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). School of Natural Resources and Environment

    2006-12-15

    Stimulation of photosynthesis in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) varies among tree species and species groups. In this study, seedling responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) concentrations and solar irradiance over 2 growing seasons were investigated for shade tolerant Acer saccharum Marsh.; Fagus grandifolia J.F. Ehrh; and shade-intolerant Prunus serotina. Seedlings were exposed to a combination of elevated and ambient concentrations of CO{sub 2} and understory shade in open-top chambers placed in a forest understory. It was observed that the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment increased mean light-saturated net photosynthetic rates by 63 per cent in the shade-tolerant species and 67 per cent in the shade-intolerant species. When measured at the elevated CO{sub 2}, long-term enhancement of photosynthesis was 10 per cent lower than the instantaneous enhancement observed in ambient-CO{sub 2}-grown plants. As the growth irradiance increased, proportional enhancement due to elevated CO{sub 2} decreased from 97 per cent for plants grown in deep shade to 47 per cent for plants grown in moderate shade. Results indicated that in nitrogen (N) limited northern temperate forests, trees grown in deep shade may display greater photosynthetic gains from a CO{sub 2} enriched atmosphere than trees growing in more moderate shade, due to greater down-regulation. It was concluded that if elevated CO{sub 2} levels promote the survival of shade-intolerant species in dim understory light, the future composition and dynamics of successional forest communities may be altered. 70 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.

  12. Differences in leaf flammability, leaf traits and flammability-trait relationships between native and exotic plant species of dry sclerophyll forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Brad R; Hardstaff, Lyndle K; Phillips, Megan L

    2013-01-01

    The flammability of plant leaves influences the spread of fire through vegetation. Exotic plants invading native vegetation may increase the spread of bushfires if their leaves are more flammable than native leaves. We compared fresh-leaf and dry-leaf flammability (time to ignition) between 52 native and 27 exotic plant species inhabiting dry sclerophyll forest. We found that mean time to ignition was significantly faster in dry exotic leaves than in dry native leaves. There was no significant native-exotic difference in mean time to ignition for fresh leaves. The significantly higher fresh-leaf water content that was found in exotics, lost in the conversion from a fresh to dry state, suggests that leaf water provides an important buffering effect that leads to equivalent mean time to ignition in fresh exotic and native leaves. Exotic leaves were also significantly wider, longer and broader in area with significantly higher specific leaf area-but not thicker-than native leaves. We examined scaling relationships between leaf flammability and leaf size (leaf width, length, area, specific leaf area and thickness). While exotics occupied the comparatively larger and more flammable end of the leaf size-flammability spectrum in general, leaf flammability was significantly correlated with all measures of leaf size except leaf thickness in both native and exotic species such that larger leaves were faster to ignite. Our findings for increased flammability linked with larger leaf size in exotics demonstrate that exotic plant species have the potential to increase the spread of bushfires in dry sclerophyll forest.

  13. Differences in leaf flammability, leaf traits and flammability-trait relationships between native and exotic plant species of dry sclerophyll forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brad R Murray

    Full Text Available The flammability of plant leaves influences the spread of fire through vegetation. Exotic plants invading native vegetation may increase the spread of bushfires if their leaves are more flammable than native leaves. We compared fresh-leaf and dry-leaf flammability (time to ignition between 52 native and 27 exotic plant species inhabiting dry sclerophyll forest. We found that mean time to ignition was significantly faster in dry exotic leaves than in dry native leaves. There was no significant native-exotic difference in mean time to ignition for fresh leaves. The significantly higher fresh-leaf water content that was found in exotics, lost in the conversion from a fresh to dry state, suggests that leaf water provides an important buffering effect that leads to equivalent mean time to ignition in fresh exotic and native leaves. Exotic leaves were also significantly wider, longer and broader in area with significantly higher specific leaf area-but not thicker-than native leaves. We examined scaling relationships between leaf flammability and leaf size (leaf width, length, area, specific leaf area and thickness. While exotics occupied the comparatively larger and more flammable end of the leaf size-flammability spectrum in general, leaf flammability was significantly correlated with all measures of leaf size except leaf thickness in both native and exotic species such that larger leaves were faster to ignite. Our findings for increased flammability linked with larger leaf size in exotics demonstrate that exotic plant species have the potential to increase the spread of bushfires in dry sclerophyll forest.

  14. Chemical Defenses (Glucosinolates) of Native and Invasive Populations of the Range Expanding Invasive Plant Rorippa austriaca

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huberty, M.; Tielborger, K.; Harvey, J.A.; Muller, C.; Macel, M.

    2014-01-01

    Due to global warming, species are expanding their range to higher latitudes. Some range expanding plants have become invasive in their new range. The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis and the Shifting Defense Hypothesis (SDH) predict altered selection on plant defenses in

  15. Reciprocal effects of litter from exotic and congeneric native plant species via soil nutrients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meisner, A.; Boer, de W.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive exotic plant species are often expected to benefit exclusively from legacy effects of their litter inputs on soil processes and nutrient availability. However, there are relatively few experimental tests determining how litter of exotic plants affects their own growth conditions compared to

  16. Chemical Defenses (Glucosinolates) of Native and Invasive Populations of the Range Expanding Invasive Plant Rorippa austriaca

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huberty, M.; Tielborger, K.; Harvey, J.A.; Muller, C.; Macel, M.

    2014-01-01

    Due to global warming, species are expanding their range to higher latitudes. Some range expanding plants have become invasive in their new range. The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis and the Shifting Defense Hypothesis (SDH) predict altered selection on plant defenses in

  17. 2014 Invasive Non-Native Plant Inventory Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge Final Report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A report detailing the methods and results of an invasive plant inventory in May of 2014 that inventoried 611 acres of the refuge. A total of 1,944 invasive plant...

  18. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity.

  19. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  20. Potential impacts of sea level rise on native plant communities and associated cultural sites in coastal areas of the main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobi, James D.; Warshauer, Frederick R.

    2017-01-01

    Hawaiian coastal vegetation is comprised of plant species that are adapted to growing in extremely harsh conditions (salt spray, wave wash, wind, and substrates with limited nutrients) found in this habitat zone. Prior to human colonization of Hawai‘i coastal vegetation extended as a continuous ring around each of the islands, broken only by stretches of recent lava flows or unstable cliff faces. However, since humans arrived in Hawai‘i many areas that originally supported native coastal plant communities have been highly altered or the native vegetation totally removed for agriculture, housing, or resort development, destroyed by fire, displaced by invasive plants, eaten by introduced mammals, or damaged by recreational use. This study was focused on identifying sites that still retain relatively intact and highly diverse native coastal plant communities throughout the main Hawaiian Islands that may be further impacted by projected sea level rise. Approximately 40 percent of Hawai‘i’s coastlines were found to still contain high quality native coastal plant communities. Most of these sites were located in areas where the coastal vegetation can still migrate inshore in response to rising sea level and associated inundation by waves. However, six sites with high-quality native coastal vegetation were found on low-lying offshore islets that will be totally inundated with a one meter increase in sea level and thirty sites were found to have some type of fixed barrier, such as a paved road or structure, which would restrict the plants from colonizing the adjacent inland areas. Many of these sites also have other cultural resources that are fixed in place and will definitely be impacted by rising sea level. The results of this study can help refine our understanding of Hawai‘i’s remaining native coastal vegetation and aid with the development of management and restoration strategies to ensure the long-term survival of these unique plant communities.

  1. Biological effects of native and exotic plant residues on plant growth, microbial biomass and N availability under controlled conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Diallo, Mariama-Dalanda; Duponnois, Robin; Guisse, A.; Sall, Saïdou; Chotte, Jean-Luc; Thioulouse, J.

    2006-01-01

    The leaf litter of six tropical tree species (Acacia holosericea, Acacia tortilis, Azadirachta indica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cordyla pinnata and Faidherbia albida) frequently used in agroforestry plantations in Sahelian and Soudano-Sahelian areas were tested for their influence on soil nitrogen content, microbial biomass and plant growth under controlled greenhouse conditions. Half of the soil was planted with onion (Allium cepa L.) seedlings and the other half was not. Two herbaceous spec...

  2. Palms versus trees: water use characteristics of native fruit-bearing plant species in the Central Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunert, N.; Barros, P.; Higuchi, N.

    2012-12-01

    Native fruiting plants are widely cultivated in the Amazon but only little information on their water use characteristics can be found in the literature. Due to the growing local consumption and the increasing popularity for new "exotic" fruits all over Brazil and worldwide, additional new plantations cultivating such fruit-bearing species might be established in the Amazon in the future. These new plantations will affect the water table of the cultivated areas, however, the impact of these changes on the regional hydrology are not known. We, therefore, decided to study plant water use characteristics of two native fruit plants commonly occurring in the Amazon region, a tree species (Cupuaçu, Theobroma grandiflorum, (Willd. ex Spreng.) Schum., Malvaceae) and a palm species (Açai, Euterpe oleraceae Mart., Arecaceae). This study was conducted in a fruit plantation close to the city of Manaus, in the Central Amazon, Brazil. The objectives of our study were 1) to compare variables controlling plant water use and 2) to identify differences in water use between woody monocot and dicot plant species. We chose three representative individuals with well-sun-exposed crowns for each species, which were equipped with Granier-type thermal dissipation probes to measure sap flux density continuously for six weeks from August 1st 2011 until September 6th 2011. We used a simple sap flux model with two environmental variables, photosynthetic photon flux density and vapor pressure deficit, to compare sap flux densities between species. We achieved a good model fit and modeled sap flux densities corresponded very well with the actual measured values. No significant differences among species in sap flux densities were indicated by the model. Overall, palms had a 3.5 fold higher water consumption compared to trees with similar diameter. Water use scaled independent from species with the size of the conductive xylem area (r2 = 0.85), so that the higher water use of the palms was

  3. Salinity tolerance and mycorrhizal responsiveness of native xeroriparian plants in semi-arid western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Vanessa B.; Walz, C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2009-01-01

    Restoration of salt-affected soils is a global concern. In the western United States, restoration of salinized land, particularly in river valleys, often involves control of Tamarix, an introduced species with high salinity tolerance. Revegetation of hydrologically disconnected floodplains and terraces after Tamarix removal is often difficult because of limited knowledge regarding the salinity tolerance of candidate native species for revegetation. Additionally, Tamarix appears to be non-mycorrhizal. Extended occupation of Tamarix may deplete arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, further decreasing the success of revegetation efforts. To address these issues, we screened 42 species, races, or ecotypes native to southwestern U.S. for salinity tolerance and mycorrhizal responsiveness. As expected, the taxa tested showed a wide range of responses to salinity and mycorrhizal fungi. This variation also occurred between ecotypes or races of the same species, indicating that seed collected from high-salinity reference systems is likely better adapted to harsh conditions than seed originating from less saline environments. All species tested had a positive or neutral response to mycorrhizal inoculation. We found no clear evidence that mycorrhizae increased salinity tolerance, but some species were so dependent on mycorrhizal fungi that they grew poorly at all salinity levels in pasteurized soil. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  4. Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States); Damschen, Ellen L. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    2010-08-13

    Restoration and management activities targeted at recovering biodiversity can lead to unexpected results. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding of how site-level characteristics, landscape factors, and land-use history interact with restoration and management practices to determine patterns of diversity. For plants, such factors may be particularly important since plant populations often exhibit lagged responses to habitat loss and degradation. Here, we assess the importance of site-level, landscape, and historical effects for understory plant species richness and composition across a set of 40 longleaf pine Pinus palustris woodlands undergoing restoration for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the southeastern United States. Land-use history had an overarching effect on richness and composition. Relative to historically forested sites, sites with agricultural histories (i.e. former pastures or cultivated fields) supported lower species richness and an altered species composition due to fewer upland longleaf pine woodland community members. Landscape effects did not influence the total number of species in either historically forested or post-agricultural sites; however, understory species composition was affected by historical connectivity, but only for post-agricultural sites. The influences of management and restoration activities were only apparent once land-use history was accounted for. Prescribed burning and mechanical overstory thinning were key drivers of understory composition and promoted understory richness in post-agricultural sites. In historically forested sites these activities had no impact on richness and only prescribed fire influenced composition. Our findings reveal complex interplays between site-level, landscape, and historical effects, suggest fundamentally different controls over plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands with varying land-use history, and underscore the importance of considering land

  5. Plant based native therapy for the treatment of Kidney stones in Aurangabad (M.S

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafiuddin Naser

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Plants have been the major source of therapeutic agents for curing the human diseases. Tribals as well as the rural people depend for all their medicinal and other necessities on the surrounding plant wealth. The urinary bladder or kidney stone has posed a challenge to the medicinal world. The disease is found occurring in both young and old persons. Even the advanced method and technology for the treatment of urinary calculi is available in the Allopathic system of medicine, it has own limitation as in some cases, several side effects as even periodical reoccurrence of stones in a few. The alternative system of medicine which usually employs natural sources-green medicine with a minimum or no side effects. During the ethnobotanical survey of plants from Aurangabad region, a few medicinal plants used in the treatment of kidney stones have been recorded which are discussed in this paper.

  6. Plant based native therapy for skin problems in Aurangabad district (M.S.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafiuddin Naser

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available An Ethnobotanical survey was carried out to collect information on the use of medicinal plants by the local and tribal people of some selected areas of Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state. A total of 26 plants have been recorded here which are used for curing 20 types of skin problems (Dermatological problems, such as boils, eruption, cuts, wounds, eczema, syphilis, urticaria etc. The data was collected by using questionnaire approach, group discussion and contact with traditional healers of the villages.The investigated plant taxa have been listed according to their uses in curing the diseases, along with botanical names, families, local names, parts used and routes of administration. Some noteworthy medicinal plants are Hydnocarpus pentandra, Murraya koenigii, Tagetes erecta, Withania somnifera, Sapindus trifoliatus, Rauwolfia serpentine, Centella asiatica, Eclipta alba etc.

  7. Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Steven, Diane; Sharitz, Rebecca R.

    2007-12-01

    Abstract: Drained depressional wetlands are typically restored by plugging ditches or breaking drainage tiles to allow recovery of natural ponding regimes, while relying on passive recolonization from seed banks and dispersal to establish emergent vegetation. However, in restored depressions of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain, certain characteristic rhizomatous graminoid species may not recolonize because they are dispersal-limited and uncommon or absent in the seed banks of disturbed sites. We tested whether selectively planting such wetland dominants could facilitate restoration by accelerating vegetative cover development and suppressing non-wetland species. In an operational-scale project in a South Carolina forested landscape, drained depressional wetlands were restored in early 2001 by completely removing woody vegetation and plugging surface ditches. After forest removal, tillers of two rhizomatous wetland grasses (Panicum hemitomon, Leersia hexandra) were transplanted into singlespecies blocks in 12 restored depressions that otherwise were revegetating passively. Presence and cover of all plant species appearing in planted plots and unplanted control plots were recorded annually. We analyzed vegetation composition after two and four years, during a severe drought (2002) and after hydrologic recovery (2004). Most grass plantings established successfully, attaining 15%–85% cover in two years. Planted plots had fewer total species and fewer wetland species compared to control plots, but differences were small. Planted plots achieved greater total vegetative cover during the drought and greater combined cover of wetland species in both years. By 2004, planted grasses appeared to reduce cover of non-wetland species in some cases, but wetter hydrologic conditions contributed more strongly to suppression of non-wetland species. Because these two grasses typically form a dominant cover matrix in herbaceous depressions, our results indicated that

  8. 紫色土人工林林下植物区系与群落外貌的恢复过程%Understory flora and community physiognomy of planted forests in the degraded purple soil ecosystem, South China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    于占源; 岳永杰; 郭剑芬; 陈光水; 谢锦升; 何宗明; 杨玉盛

    2005-01-01

    采用时空代换法,以福建省宁化县严重退化紫色土人工林生态系统为对象,按侵蚀强度由强到弱选取4种生态恢复措施Ⅰ、Ⅱ、Ⅲ、Ⅳ,研究了植物多样性与生态系统过程的关系.结果表明,该紫色土退化生态系统的植物出现43科78属86种,种子植物属15个分布类型中出现12个.沿恢复梯度,植物的生活型谱逐渐丰富,种子植物属各分布区类型出现的属数趋于增加,各种叶特征所对应的植物属数依次增多.可见,生态恢复过程中的植物区系与群落外貌越来越复杂和多样化,该紫色土生态系统渐趋稳定.%The flora and community physiognomy of degraded plantation ecosystems on purple soil were investigated in Ninghua County of Fujian Province, China to understand the relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem processes.. Four different restoration communities (labeled as ecological restoration treatment I, II, III and IV) were selected by space-time replacement method according to the erosion intensity in degraded purple soil ecosystem. The results showed that there were totally 86 plant species belonging to 78 genera and 43 families in the degraded purple soil ecosystem. Of the 15 types of distribution area in spermatophyte genus, 12 types were found in the purple soil ecosystem. Along restoration gradient from low to high, plant growth type and life form spectra became abundant more and more, and the spermatophyte genera for each distribution area type and genera numbers for different foliage characters increased as well. It is concluded that the plant flora and physiognomy in ecological restoration process become more complex and diverse, indicating that the forest ecosystem on purple soil tends to be more stable.

  9. Ultrasound-assisted extraction of polyphenols from native plants in the Mexican desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Paz, Jorge E; Muñiz Márquez, Diana B; Martínez Ávila, Guillermo C G; Belmares Cerda, Ruth E; Aguilar, Cristóbal N

    2015-01-01

    Several plants that are rich in polyphenolic compounds and exhibit biological properties are grown in the desert region of Mexico under extreme climate conditions. These compounds have been recovered by classic methodologies in these plants using organic solvents. However, little information is available regarding the use of alternative extraction technologies, such as ultrasound. In this paper, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) parameters, such as the liquid:solid ratio, solvent concentration and extraction time, were studied using response surface methodology (RSM) for the extraction of polyphenols from desert plants including Jatrophadioica,Flourensiacernua, Turneradiffusa and Eucalyptuscamaldulensis. Key process variables (i.e., liquid:solid ratio and ethanol concentration) exert the greatest influence on the extraction of all of the phenolic compounds (TPC) in the studied plants. The best conditions for the extraction of TPC involved an extraction time of 40min, an ethanol concentration of 35% and a liquid:solid ratio ranging from 8 to 12mlg(-1) depending on the plant. The highest antioxidant activity was obtained in the E. camaldulensis extracts. The results indicated the ability of UAE to obtain polyphenolic antioxidant preparations from desert plants.

  10. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  11. Azospirillum spp. from native forage grasses in Brazilian Pantanal floodplain: biodiversity and plant growth promotion potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Mayara S T; de Baura, Valter A; Santos, Sandra A; Fernandes-Júnior, Paulo Ivan; Reis Junior, Fábio B; Marques, Maria Rita; Paggi, Gecele Matos; da Silva Brasil, Marivaine

    2017-04-01

    A sustainable alternative to improve yield and the nutritive value of forage is the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) that release nutrients, synthesize plant hormones and protect against phytopathogens (among other mechanisms). Azospirillum genus is considered an important PGPB, due to the beneficial effects observed when inoculated in several plants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diversity of new Azospirillum isolates and select bacteria according to the plant growth promotion ability in three forage species from the Brazilian Pantanal floodplain: Axonopus purpusii, Hymenachne amplexicaulis and Mesosetum chaseae. The identification of bacterial isolates was performed using specific primers for Azospirillum in PCR reactions and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes. The isolates were evaluated in vitro considering biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production. Based on the results of BNF and IAA, selected isolates and two reference strains were tested by inoculation. At 31 days after planting the plant height, shoot dry matter, shoot protein content and root volume were evaluated. All isolates were able to fix nitrogen and produce IAA, with values ranging from 25.86 to 51.26 mg N mL(-1) and 107-1038 µmol L(-1), respectively. The inoculation of H. amplexicaulis and A. purpusii increased root volume and shoot dry matter. There were positive effects of Azospirillum inoculation on Mesosetum chaseae regarding plant height, shoot dry matter and root volume. Isolates MAY1, MAY3 and MAY12 were considered promising for subsequent inoculation studies in field conditions.

  12. Black and Garlic Mustard Plants Are Highly Suitable for the Development of Two Native Pierid Butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Robin; Gols, Rieta; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-04-22

    In multivoltine insects that oviposit and develop on short-lived plants, different herbivore generations across a growing season often exploit different plant species. Here, we compare the development time, pupal mass, and survival of two closely related oligophagous herbivore species on two species of brassicaceous plants that grow in different habitats and which exhibit little overlap in temporal growth phenology. In central Europe, the green-veined white butterfly, Pieris napi L., is bivoltine, whereas the small cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae L., has two to three generations a year. Moreover, P. napi is primarily found in moist, open (e.g., meadow), and forest habitats, whereas P. rapae prefers drier, open habitats. Both butterflies were reared on Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), which is shade-tolerant and grows early in spring in forest undergrowth, and Black mustard (Brassica nigra), which prefers open disturbed habitats and is most common in summer. Both host plant species differ in other traits such as secondary chemistry. We hypothesized that, owing to habitat preference, P. napi would develop equally well on both plants but that P. rapae would perform better on B. nigra The results provide partial support for this hypothesis, as both herbivores performed equally well on A. petiolata and B. nigra However, there were differences in these parameters that were species-specific: on both plants P. rapae developed faster and had larger pupae than P. napi Our results show that specialized herbivores can exploit different species of related plants that grow at different times of the season, enabling them to have multiple generations.

  13. Competitive effect of a native-invasive species on a threatened shrub in a Mediterranean dune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz Esquivias, M; Zunzunegui, María; Díaz Barradas, Mari Cruz; Álvarez-Cansino, Leonor

    2015-01-01

    The canopy shade of the Retama species has been widely reported to ameliorate the environmental conditions in the understory, thus facilitating other species' establishment. The shading effect of the native-invasive leguminous shrub Retama monosperma (L.) Boiss on the endangered Thymus carnosus Boiss was analysed to determine a positive or negative net effect. Data was taken in all four seasons, representing contrasting light and water availability in a Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystem (SW Spain). The morphological and physiological status of sun-exposed T. carnosus plants growing in open areas versus shaded plants growing under R. monosperma were measured seasonally. Leaf mass area, leaf area index and pigment content showed typical sun-shade responses. In contrast, sun-exposed T. carnosus displayed higher stem water potential, transpiration rate and water use efficiency, both intrinsic and integrated, denoting low tolerance to the presence of R. monosperma. Five years after the measurements, canopy cover had decreased and mortality was higher in shaded plants, thus confirming the competitive effect of R. monosperma on T. carnosus. R. monosperma arises as a competitor for endangered T. carnosus communities, consequently reinforcing its invasive behaviour. This species-specific shrub study demonstrates that eventual beneficial effects of Retama canopy may be overridden by competition in the understory, particularly in the case of species well-adapted to high light and low water levels.

  14. Elicitation of Induced Resistance against Pectobacterium carotovorum and Pseudomonas syringae by Specific Individual Compounds Derived from Native Korean Plant Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choong-Min Ryu

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants have developed general and specific defense mechanisms for protection against various enemies. Among the general defenses, induced resistance has distinct characteristics, such as broad-spectrum resistance and long-lasting effectiveness. This study evaluated over 500 specific chemical compounds derived from native Korean plant species to determine whether they triggered induced resistance against Pectobacterium carotovorum supsp. carotovorum (Pcc in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst in Arabidopsis thaliana. To select target compound(s with direct and indirect (volatile effects, a new Petri-dish-based in vitro disease assay system with four compartments was developed. The screening assay showed that capsaicin, fisetin hydrate, jaceosidin, and farnesiferol A reduced the disease severity significantly in tobacco. Of these four compounds, capsaicin and jaceosidin induced resistance against Pcc and Pst, which depended on both salicylic acid (SA and jasmonic acid (JA signaling, using Arabidopsis transgenic and mutant lines, including npr1 and NahG for SA signaling and jar1 for JA signaling. The upregulation of the PR2 and PDF1.2 genes after Pst challenge with capsaicin pre-treatment indicated that SA and JA signaling were primed. These results demonstrate that capsaicin and jaceosidin can be effective triggers of strong induced resistance against both necrotrophic and biotrophic plant pathogens.

  15. Native fungal endophytes suppress an exotic dominant and increase plant diversity over small and large spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afkhami, Michelle E; Strauss, Sharon Y

    2016-05-01

    Understanding community dynamics and processes, such as the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity, drive succession, and affect invasion susceptibility, is a central goal in ecology and evolution. While most studies of how species interactions affect communities have focused on highly visible macroorganisms, we show that mutualistic microfungal endophytes have community-level effects across their host plant's range and provide the first example of fungal endophytes enhancing plant diversity. A three-year field study in which we experimentally manipulated endophyte abundance in a native Californian grass showed that despite their minute biomass, endophytes dramatically increased plant community diversity (~110% greater increase with endophytes) by suppressing a dominant invasive grass, Bromus diandrus. This effect was also detectable, but smaller, across five additional common gardens spanning ecologically diverse habitats, different climates, and > 400 km of the host grass' range as well as at microspatial scales within gardens. Our study illustrates that mutualistic microbes, while often hidden players, can have unexpectedly large ecological impacts across a wide range of habitats and scales and may be important for promoting diverse communities and ecosystems.

  16. Biomonitoring of Air Pollution by Magnetic Measurements of Native and Transplanted Lichens; Two Case Studies Around Cement Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, A.; Paoli, L.; Kodnik, D.; Candotto Carniel, F.; Guttová, A.; Loppi, S.; Sagnotti, L.; Tretiach, M.

    2015-12-01

    A cement plant is a source of dust pollution and lichens are suitable biomonitors of the impact of airborne pollutants released during cement production. We investigated the magnetic and chemical properties of lichens exposed around two cement plants, located in SW Slovakia and in NE Italy, respectively. We characterized the magnetic properties of the lichen Evernia prunastri exposed for 180 days at selected sites around a Slovak cement plant in order to define the magnetic mineralogy and test the correlations between the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters and the content of heavy metals and crustal elements in the thalli. In addition, we compared the magnetic properties of the transplants to those carried by native thalli of the lichen Xanthoria parietina and neighboring soils, barks and rocks. The data indicated a substantial homogenous magnetic mineralogy, with the exception of a sample collected from a basalt quarry. The transplants showed an excellent correlation between the saturation remanent magnetization (Mrs) and the concentration of Fe; the concentrations of the elements linked to cement production also correlated to Mrs values, apart from the basalt quarry sample. In the second context, we characterized the magnetic properties of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea transplanted near a cement plant in NE Italy. The transplants were exposed for 2 months in 40 sites distributed in surrounding rural, urban and industrial areas. In this case, the agreement between the magnetic and elemental datasets pointed out a modest environmental impact of the cement plant compared to the neighboring industrial activities, which resulted in significantly higher values of the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters. Magnetic analyses on lichens can expand the dataset of passive dust collectors in environmental magnetism, with the advantage, for the transplants, of precisely knowing the exposure time and the initial conditions.

  17. Hyperaccumulator of Pb in native plants growing on Peruvian mine tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bech, Jaume; Roca, Nuria; Boluda, Rafael; Tume, Pedro; Duran, Paola; Poma, Wilfredo; Sanchez, Isidoro

    2014-05-01

    Tailings usually provide an unfavourable substrate for plant growth because of their extreme pH, low organic matter and nutrients, high concentrations of trace elements and physical disturbance, such as bad soil structure, and low water availability. Heavy metal contamination has also been one serious problem in the vicinity of mine sites due to the discharge and dispersion of mine-waste materials into the ecosystem. Moreover, Pb is considered a target metal when undertaking soil remediation, because it is usually quite immobile and not readily accumulated in upper plant parts. The presence of vegetation reduces water and wind erosion, which may decrease the downward migration of contaminants into the groundwater and improve aesthetical aspects. Plants growing on naturally metal-enriched soils are of particular interest in this perspective, since they are genetically tolerant to high metal concentrations, have an excellent adaptation to this multi-stress environment. Efficient phytoextraction requires plant species combining both high metal tolerance and elevated capacity for metal uptake and metal translocation to easily harvestable plant organs (e.g. shoots). Soil and plant samples were taken in Peru, at a polymetallic mine (mainly Ag, Pb and Cu) in Cajamarca Province, Hualgayoc district. Top soils (0-20 cm) were analysed for physical and chemical properties by standard methods. Total Pb concentrations in top soils were determined by ICP-OES. Pb content in plants were analysed separately (aerial and root system) by ICP-MS. Ti content was used as an indicator for contamination of plant samples with soil particles. Translocation Factor (TF) and Shoot Accumulation Factor (SAF) were determined to assess the tolerance strategies developed by these species and to evaluate their potential for phytoremediation purposes. The non-polluted soils had near neutral pH (6.8±0.1), a great content of organic carbon (42 ± 4.0 g•kg-1) and a silt loamy texture. Soil and plant

  18. Comparison of nutrient acquisition in exotic plant species and congeneric natives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meisner, A.; De Boer, W.; Verhoeven, K.J.F.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2011-01-01

    1.The ability of exotic plant species to establish and expand in new areas may be enhanced by a relatively high ability to acquire soil nutrients. To test this hypothesis, we predicted that the capacity for nutrient acquisition would be higher in seedlings of exotic species than in seedlings of nati

  19. Plant–soil interactions in the expansion and native range of a poleward shifting plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Grunsven, R.H.A.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, F.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2010-01-01

    Climate warming causes range shifts of many species toward higher latitudes and altitudes. However, range shifts of host species do not necessarily proceed at the same rates as those of their enemies and symbionts. Here, we examined how a range shifting plant species performs in soil from its

  20. Shrub removal in reforested post-fire areas increases native plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielle N. Bohlman; Malcolm North; Hugh D. Safford

    2016-01-01

    Large, high severity fires are becoming more prevalent in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests, largely due to heavy fuel loading and forest densification caused by past and current management practices. In post-fire areas distant from seed trees, conifers are often planted to re-establish a forest and to prevent a potential type-conversion to shrub fields. Typical...

  1. Internal transport of alien and native plants by geese and ducks: an experimental study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Alvarez, Alberto; van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; Luque, Carlos J.; Hussner, Andreas; Velez-Martin, Alberto; Perez-Vazquez, Andres; Green, Andy J.; Castellanos, Eloy M.

    2015-01-01

    Alien plant species are rapidly spreading in aquatic ecosystems around the world, causing major ecological effects. They are typically introduced by humans, after which natural vectors facilitate their further spread. Migratory waterbirds have long been recognised as important dispersal vectors for

  2. Toxicity of Mexican native plant extracts against larvae of Aedes aegypti(Diptera: Culicidae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rosario; Ruiz-Guerrero; Mario; Alberto; Rodríguez-Pérez; Mariano; Norzagaray-Campos

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate five indigenous Mexican plants [Hippocratea excelsa, Hippocratea celastroides, Argemone mexicana(A. mexicana), Tagetes lucida, and Pseudosmodingium perniciosum(P. perniciosum)] toxicity against the fourth instar larvae of the dengue primary vector, Aedes aegypti(A. aegypti).Methods: Each plant part was treated successively with hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone, and methanol to extract potential active components of the plants against the dengue vector.Results: There was a range of toxicity at 24 or 48 h post-exposure for the different plant parts and organic solvent used(LC50 values ranged between 20 and 890 μg/mL). Extracts from seeds of A. mexicana(hexane washing with methanol and acetone) and stem-bark of P. perniciosum(hexane) showed highest toxicity to Ae. aegypti larvae at 48 h post-exposure(LC50 values were80, 50, and 20 μg/mL, respectively), thus making them potential candidates as biolarvicides.Efforts are on-going to characterize the bioactive components of the extracts, through chromatography, for their use as biological tools for the control of the primary dengue vector.Conclusions: A. mexicana and P. perniciosum are good candidates to combat the dengue vector, Ae. aegypti, as they were highly toxic to the larvae.

  3. The spectrum of viruses isolated from Pulsatilla pratensis (Ranunculaceae a native plant of Ukraine

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    О. А. Shydlovska

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to virus screening of wild plants of Ukraine’s flora. The object of the research is the Red Book plant Pulsatilla pratensis (L. Mill., which grows on the territory of Kanev Nature Reserve. Isolated isometric infectious virus-like particles with diameters of 34, 36, 43, 47, 50 and 57 nm were isolated from selected plants of P. pratensis. In our research, determination of the infectious nature of the pathogen, host range, concentration of viruses in plants, species identity and virus isolation from the mixture in mixed viral infections were carried with using indicator plants. The typical viral symptoms were observed on indicator plants: browning of the leaf plate, mottling, chlorosis and necrosis. All symptoms were systemic and could be caused by a variety of viruse species. Virions with sizes from 34 to 43 nm produced the necrotic and chlorotic spotting on Chenopodium amaranticolor Coste and Reyn. On the other hand, virions with sizes from 47 to 57 nm produced the necrosis, chlorosis and deformation of the leaf plates on Cucumis sativus L. That is not typical for viruses previously discovered on P. pratensis. The viruses isolated in these plants viruses were cumulated in small concentrations and rapidly lost their infectivity. The number of isolated viruses was insufficient for their identification. Four bacteriophage isolates with long phage tails of different size were isolated from P. pratensis roots and radical soil. The biological (lytic activity towards the tracer bacteria, the morphology of negative colonies, and bacteriophage protein structure were characterized. According to our research, it is possible to divide phages into three subgroups that probably correspond to three different types of viruses. Results of the polypeptide analysis may reflect an evolutionary process in a population of phages that had a common ancestor. Comparison of phage proteins of different hosts shows a variety of molecular weights of

  4. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  5. Extraction of essential oils from native plants and algae from the coast of Peniche (Portugal: antimicrobial and antioxidant activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clélia Neves Afonso

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Coastal areas are highly complex and dynamic ecosystem of interface between land, sea and atmosphere, which also suffer biotic influences. These areas play several important ecological functions, and here we can find an enormous biodiversity. The coastline of Portugal features a high number of endemic flora and vegetation with the potential to provide functional compounds that may provide physiological benefits at nutritional and therapeutic levels, as sources of bioactive substances with antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antitumalr and anti-inflammatory activity. Among these compounds, we find essential oils, also known as volatile oils, which are a result of secondary metabolism of aromatic plants, containing a large number of substances with varied chemical composition that can be obtained by different methods of extraction. The aim of this study was to extract essential oils of native plants and seaweeds from the coast of Peniche by hydrodistillation in Clevenger apparatus, with optimization of the purification process. Extracted essential oils were tested as to their ability as antibacterial and antifungal agents, and also as antioxidants. The plants studied for this purpose were Inula chritmoides L., Juniperus phoenicea subsp. turbinata (Guss. Nyman, Daucus carota spp. halophilus and the seaweeds Fucus spiralis L., Codium tomentosum Stackhouse, Stypocaulon scoparium (Linnaeus Kützing and Plocamium cartilagineum (Linnaeus P.S.Dixon. The antimicrobial ability was tested in two bacteria species, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli and in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using standard procedures. The antioxidant potential was evaluated and from the results obtained, we can conclude that the essential oils extracted by the hydrodistillation method of plants and algae contain bioactive compounds present in its constitution with interesting bio-activity that can offer significant benefits and biotechnological relevance.

  6. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  7. Mechanical properties of trays based on starch of native plant species and fiber of agroindustrial wastes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Espina

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of natural fibers derived from agro-industrial waste in density, weight and mechanical properties of the termoprensadas foams made of starch native species, such as sweet potatoes, oca and arracacha. The thermoforming process was carried out at a temperature of 145 ° C and a pressure of 60 bar. The baking time was 10-15 min depending on water content in the mixture. The trays were characterized by their density, weight, impact test, deflection tests, colorimetry, hardness, and fracturability values. The trays prepared by thermopressure based on sweet potato starch-bagasse fiber from sugar cane at 15%, and arracacha starch -peladilla asparagus fiber at 30% had higher values in flexural strength versus those made with other types of starches and fibers, including blank tests. Generally, the hardness of the trays is favored with increasing fiber, however fracturability decreases or does not improve the integrity of the polymeric matrix. The results shown in this study allow the preparation of biodegradable trays for various industrial applications.

  8. Natural attenuation potential of tricholoroethene in wetland plant roots: role of native ammonium-oxidizing microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Ke; Struckhoff, Garrett C; Agrawal, Abinash; Shelley, Michael L; Dong, Hailiang

    2015-01-01

    Bench-scale microcosms with wetland plant roots were investigated to characterize the microbial contributions to contaminant degradation of trichloroethene (TCE) with ammonium. The batch system microcosms consisted of a known mass of wetland plant roots in aerobic growth media where the roots provided both an inoculum of root-associated ammonium-oxidizing microorganisms and a microbial habitat. Aqueous growth media, ammonium, and TCE were replaced weekly in batch microcosms while retaining roots and root-associated biomass. Molecular biology results indicated that ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were enriched from wetland plant roots while analysis of contaminant and oxygen concentrations showed that those microorganisms can degrade TCE by aerobic cometabolism. Cometabolism of TCE, at 29 and 46 μg L(-1), was sustainable over the course of 9 weeks, with 20-30 mg L(-1) ammonium-N. However, at 69 μg L(-1) of TCE, ammonium oxidation and TCE cometabolism were completely deactivated in two weeks. This indicated that between 46 and 69 μg L(-1) TCE with 30 mg L(-1) ammonium-N there is a threshold [TCE] below which sustainable cometabolism can be maintained with ammonium as the primary substrate. However, cometabolism-induced microbial deactivation of ammonium oxidation and TCE degradation at 69 μg L(-1) TCE did not result in a lower abundance of the amoA gene in the microcosms, suggesting that the capacity to recover from TCE inhibition was still intact, given time and removal of stress. Our study indicates that microorganisms associated with wetland plant roots can assist in the natural attenuation of TCE in contaminated aquatic environments, such as urban or treatment wetlands, and wetlands impacted by industrial solvents.

  9. Screening of antibacterial extracts from plants native to the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest and Atlantic Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suffredini I.B.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available More than 20% of the world's biodiversity is located in Brazilian forests and only a few plant extracts have been evaluated for potential antibacterial activity. In the present study, 705 organic and aqueous extracts of plants obtained from different Amazon Rain Forest and Atlantic Forest plants were screened for antibacterial activity at 100 µg/ml, using a microdilution broth assay against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. One extract, VO581, was active against S. aureus (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC = 140 µg/ml and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC = 160 µg/ml, organic extract obtained from stems and two extracts were active against E. faecalis, SM053 (MIC = 80 µg/ml and MBC = 90 µg/ml, organic extract obtained from aerial parts, and MY841 (MIC = 30 µg/ml and MBC = 50 µg/ml, organic extract obtained from stems. The most active fractions are being fractionated to identify their active substances. Higher concentrations of other extracts are currently being evaluated against the same microorganisms.

  10. Transglutamination allows production and characterization of native-sized ELPylated spider silk proteins from transgenic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weichert, Nicola; Hauptmann, Valeska; Menzel, Matthias; Schallau, Kai; Gunkel, Philip; Hertel, Thomas C; Pietzsch, Markus; Spohn, Uwe; Conrad, Udo

    2014-02-01

    In the last two decades it was shown that plants have a great potential for production of specific heterologous proteins. But high cost and inefficient downstream processing are a main technical bottleneck for the broader use of plant-based production technology especially for protein-based products, for technical use as fibres or biodegradable plastics and also for medical applications. High-performance fibres from recombinant spider silks are, therefore, a prominent example. Spiders developed rather different silk materials that are based on proteins. These spider silks show excellent properties in terms of elasticity and toughness. Natural spider silk proteins have a very high molecular weight, and it is precisely this property which is thought to give them their strength. Transgenic plants were generated to produce ELPylated recombinant spider silk derivatives. These fusion proteins were purified by Inverse Transition Cycling (ITC) and enzymatically multimerized with transglutaminase in vitro. Layers produced by casting monomers and multimers were characterized using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM-based nanoindentation. The layered multimers formed by mixing lysine- and glutamine-tagged monomers were associated with the highest elastic penetration modulus. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Seedling growth responses to soil resources in the understory of a wet tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holste, Ellen K; Kobe, Richard K; Vriesendorp, Corine F

    2011-09-01

    Plant growth responses to resources may be an important mechanism that influences species' distributions, coexistence, and community structure. Irradiance is considered the most important resource for seedling growth in the understory of wet tropical forests, but multiple soil nutrients and species have yet to be examined simultaneously with irradiance under field conditions. To identify potentially limiting resources, we modeled tree seedling growth as a function of irradiance and soil nutrients across five sites, spanning a soil fertility gradient in old-growth, wet tropical forests at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We measured an array of soil nutrients including total nitrogen (total N), inorganic N (nitrate [NO3-] and ammonium [NH4+]), phosphate (PO4-), and sum of base cations (SBC; potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Shade in the forest understory did not preclude seedling growth correlations with soil nutrients. Irradiance was a significant predictor of growth in 52% of the species, inorganic N in 54% (NO3- in 32%; NH4+ in 34%), total N in 47%, SBC in 39%, and PO4- in 29%. Overall, growth was correlated with both irradiance and soil nutrients in 45% of species and with soil nutrients only in an additional 48%; rarely was irradiance alone correlated with growth. Contrary to expectations, the magnitudes of growth effects, assessed as the maximum growth response to significant resources for each species, were similar for irradiance and most soil nutrients. Among species whose growth correlated with soil nutrients, the rank importance of nutrient effects was SBC, followed by N (total N, NO3-, and/or NH4+) and PO4-. Species' growth responsiveness (i.e., magnitudes of effect) to irradiance and soil nutrients was negatively correlated with species' shade tolerance (survival under 1% full sun). In this broad survey of species and resources, the nearly ubiquitous effects of soil nutrients on seedling growth challenge the idea that soil nutrients are less

  12. The first report of Pb and Zn accumulation in some native plants from the Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bech, Jaume; Duran, Paola; Poma, Wilfredo; Sánchez, Isidoro; Barceló, Juan; Roca, Núria; Boluda, Rafael; Roca-Pérez, Luís.; Poschenrieder, Charlotte

    2010-05-01

    Until recent decades little has been known about the remediation of mining sites using metalophytes in Latin America. Metal mining has helped to create severe and diverse environmental problems. The present study proposed to identify and characterize spontaneously growing heavy metal tolerant plant species in the area around the polimetalic mine in Hualgayoc (Cajamarca, Peru). These species are potentially useful for phytorremediation. Plant and soils from their rhizosphere were sampled and analized for concentration of As, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn. Translocation Factor (TF) defined the metals concentrations ratio between shoots and root biomass and Shoot Accumulation Factor (SAF) the metal concentration ratio between shoot and soil concentration were determined and used to measure the effectiveness of a plant in concentrating metals into its biomass. The soils were neutral pH (7,4±0,5) with variable content of organic carbon (2,4±1,1) and loam texture: sand (42,9±10,8) and clay (16,7±4,6). According to the total metals, all samples exceeded toxicity thresholds, high Pb (20016 ± 32559 mg•kg-1) and Zn (22512 ± 13056 mg•kg-1) concentrations were detected. High shoot Pb and Zn concentrations were found in Plantaginaceae Plantago orbignyana (6998 and 9617 μg/g); Brassicaceae Lepidium bipinnatifidum (6886 and 5034 mg•kg-1) and Asteraceae Senecio sp (4253 and 3870 mg•kg-1) and Baccharis latifolia (2554 and 1284 mg•kg-1 respectively). The high values of TFs indicates that the plants effectively traslocated metales. Lepidium bipinnatifidum shows the highest TFs values (143 in Pb and 21,5 in Zn). The SAF values were much lower than those reported for other species such as Paspalum sp in the Peruvian copper mine, which may be due to a high top soil Pb and Zn concentrations. These species can surely be considered as interesting for phytoextraction, due not only to its accumulative capacity but also since they showed an elevated transfer factor and grew in the

  13. The responses of two native plant species to soil petroleum contamination in the Yellow River Delta, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Wenjun; Zhang, Yanpeng; Li, Rui; Yang, Hongjun; Wu, Tao; Zhao, Liping; Lu, Zhaohua

    2017-09-11

    Petroleum contamination is a significant environmental problem in the Yellow River Delta. The responses of two native salt-tolerant plant species, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and bristle grass (Setaria uiridis Beauv), to soil petroleum contamination were investigated at five levels between 0 and 2.0% (w/w). Results showed that the total, aboveground and underground plant biomasses of both species were significantly reduced by petroleum contamination (p contamination. Following 100 days of exposure, the number of soil petroleum degraders increased greatly, with a trend of initial increase followed by a decrease at 1.5% contamination or higher. Compared to bulk soils, bacteria-degrading alkanes, total hydrocarbons and PAHs in alfalfa rhizosphere soils increased by 1.33-4.18-, 0.85-3.01- and 4.12-12.75-fold, respectively, with an increase of 2.80-10.00-, 4.42-14.44- and 7.30-26.00-fold in bristle grass rhizosphere soils, respectively. The greatest number of petroleum degraders in bristle grass rhizosphere soils resulted in the highest petroleum degradation rate. Bristle grass may be the optimal species for petroleum remediation in the studied area.

  14. Archaeal rhizosphere communities differ between the native and invasive lines of the wetland plant phragmites australis (common reed) in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phragmites australis, a common wetland plant species worldwide, is best known in North America as persistent invasive species. Only in recent decades was a native line, Phragmites australis subsp. americanus, confirmed in North American wetlands. This study investigated whether the two lines suppo...

  15. Integrated Spatial Models of Non Native Plant Invasion, Fire Risk, and Wildlife Habitat to Support Conservation of Military and Adjacent Lands in the Arid Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    2002). These species are largely characterized by early winter germination, high viable seed loads, and multiple dispersal mechanisms; in combination...approach to mapping improved our B. tournefortii models, likely because spatial heterogeneity in precipitation drove phenological variability across...via dispersal from wind, vehicles, and water. Table 1: Attributes of non-native invasive plant species targeted by this study. Genus Type

  16. [Native plant resources to optimize the performances of forest rehabilitation in Mediterranean and tropical environment: some examples of nursing plant species that improve the soil mycorrhizal potential].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duponnois, Robin; Ramanankierana, Heriniaina; Hafidi, Mohamed; Baohanta, Rondro; Baudoin, Ezékiel; Thioulouse, Jean; Sanguin, Hervé; Bâ, Amadou; Galiana, Antoine; Bally, René; Lebrun, Michel; Prin, Yves

    2013-01-01

    The overexploitation of natural resources, resulting in an increased need for arable lands by local populations, causes a serious dysfunction in the soil's biological functioning (mineral deficiency, salt stress, etc.). This dysfunction, worsened by the climatic conditions (drought), requires the implementation of ecological engineering strategies allowing the rehabilitation of degraded areas through the restoration of essential ecological services. The first symptoms of weathering processes of soil quality in tropical and Mediterranean environments result in an alteration of the plant cover structure with, in particular, the pauperization of plant species diversity and abundance. This degradation is accompanied by a weakening of soils and an increase of the impact of erosion on the surface layer resulting in reduced fertility of soils in terms of their physicochemical characteristics as well as their biological ones (e.g., soil microbes). Among the microbial components particularly sensitive to erosion, symbiotic microorganisms (rhizobia, Frankia, mycorrhizal fungi) are known to be key components in the main terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (C, N and P). Many studies have shown the importance of the management of these symbiotic microorganisms in rehabilitation and revegetation strategies of degraded environments, but also in improving the productivity of agrosystems. In particular, the selection of symbionts and their inoculation into the soil were strongly encouraged in recent decades. These inoculants were selected not only for their impact on the plant, but also for their ability to persist in the soil at the expense of the residual native microflora. The performance of this technique was thus evaluated on the plant cover, but its impact on soil microbial characteristics was totally ignored. The role of microbial diversity on productivity and stability (resistance, resilience, etc.) of eco- and agrosystems has been identified relatively recently and has led

  17. In vitro antiplasmodial activity of medicinal plants native to or naturalised in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Clarkson, C

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info clarkson_2004.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 46084 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name clarkson_2004.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 Journal...-based antimalarial agents. ? 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Malaria; Antiplasmodial; Plasmodium falciparum; Ethnomedicinal plants; South Africa 1. Introduction Despite intensive efforts to control malaria, the disease continues to be one...

  18. "I eat the manofê so it is not forgotten": local perceptions and consumption of native wild edible plants from seasonal dry forests in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Margarita Paloma; Medeiros, Patrícia Muniz; Sarmiento-Combariza, Iván; Peroni, Nivaldo; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2014-05-23

    There is little information available on the factors influencing people's selection of wild plants for consumption. Studies suggest a suitable method of understanding the selection of edible plants is to assess people's perceptions of these resources. The use and knowledge of wild resources is disappearing, as is the opportunity to use them. This study analyzes people's perceptions of native wild edible plants in a rural Caatinga (seasonal dry forest) community in Northeast Brazil and the relationships between the use of these resources and socioeconomic factors. Semi-structured interviews with 39 people were conducted to form a convenience sample to gather information regarding people's perceptions of 12 native wild edible plant species. The relationships between variables were assessed by simple linear regression analysis, Pearson and Spearman correlation analyses, and in the case of nominal variables, contingency tables. The discourse of participants regarding their opinions of the use of wild plants as food was analyzed through the collective subject discourse analysis technique. Perceptions were classified into 18 categories. The most cited category was organoleptic characteristics of the edible part; more specifically, flavor. Flavor was the main positive perception associated with plant use, whereas the negative perception that most limited the use of these plants was cultural acceptance. Perceptions of the use of wild edible plants were directly correlated with both interviewee age and income. Within the studied community, people's perceptions of native wild edible plants are related to their consumption. Moreover, the study found that young people have less interest in these resources. These findings suggest that changing perceptions may affect the conservation of plants, traditional practices and the associated knowledge.

  19. Nonindigenous Plant Advantage in Native and Exotic Australian Grasses under Experimental Drought, Warming, and Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan J. Lepschi

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A general prediction of ecological theory is that climate change will favor invasive nonindigenous plant species (NIPS over native species. However, the relative fitness advantage enjoyed by NIPS is often affected by resource limitation and potentially by extreme climatic events such as drought. Genetic constraints may also limit the ability of NIPS to adapt to changing climatic conditions. In this study, we investigated evidence for potential NIPS advantage under climate change in two sympatric perennial stipoid grasses from southeast Australia, the NIPS Nassella neesiana and the native Austrostipa bigeniculata. We compared the growth and reproduction of both species under current and year 2050 drought, temperature and CO2 regimes in a multifactor outdoor climate simulation experiment, hypothesizing that NIPS advantage would be higher under more favorable growing conditions. We also compared the quantitative variation and heritability of growth traits in populations of both species collected along a 200 km climatic transect. In contrast to our hypothesis we found that the NIPS N. neesiana was less responsive than A. bigeniculata to winter warming but maintained higher reproductive output during spring drought. However, overall tussock expansion was far more rapid in N. neesiana, and so it maintained an overall fitness advantage over A. bigeniculata in all climate regimes. N. neesiana also exhibited similar or lower quantitative variation and growth trait heritability than A. bigeniculata within populations but greater variability among populations, probably reflecting a complex past introduction history. We found some evidence that additional spring warmth increases the impact of drought on reproduction but not that elevated atmospheric CO2 ameliorates drought severity. Overall, we conclude that NIPS advantage under climate change may be limited by a lack of responsiveness to key climatic drivers, reduced genetic variability in range

  20. Evaluation of native plant flower characteristics for conservation biological control of Prays oleae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nave, A; Gonçalves, F; Crespí, A L; Campos, M; Torres, L

    2016-04-01

    Several studies have shown that manipulating flowering weeds within an agroecosystem can have an important role in pest control by natural enemies, by providing them nectar and pollen, which are significant sources of nutrition for adults. The aim of this study was to assess if the olive moth, Prays oleae (Bernard, 1788) (Lepidoptera: Praydidae), and five of its main natural enemies, the parasitoid species Chelonus elaeaphilus Silvestri (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Apanteles xanthostigma (Haliday) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Ageniaspis fuscicollis (Dalman) (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and Elasmus flabellatus (Fonscolombe) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), as well as the predator Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), can theoretically access the nectar from 21 flowering weeds that naturally occur in olive groves. Thus, the architecture of the flowers as well as the mouthpart structure and/or the head and thorax width of the pest and its enemies were analyzed. The results suggested that all beneficial insects were able to reach nectar of the plant species from Apiaceae family, i.e. Conopodium majus (Gouan) Loret, Daucus carota L. and Foeniculum vulgare Mill., as well as Asparagus acutifolius L., Echium plantagineum L., Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik., Raphanus raphanistrum L., Lonicera hispanica Boiss. et Reut., Silene gallica L., Spergula arvensis L., Hypericum perforatum L., Calamintha baetica Boiss. et Reut, Malva neglecta Wallr. and Linaria saxatilis (L.) Chaz. P. oleae was not able to access nectar from five plant species, namely: Andryala integrifolia L., Chondrilla juncea L., Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter, Sonchus asper (L.) Hill and Lavandula stoechas L.

  1. Highly acylated (acetylated and/or p-coumaroylated) native lignins from diverse herbaceous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Río, José C; Rencoret, Jorge; Marques, Gisela; Gutiérrez, Ana; Ibarra, David; Santos, J Ignacio; Jiménez-Barbero, Jesús; Zhang, Liming; Martínez, Angel T

    2008-10-22

    The structure of lignins isolated from the herbaceous plants sisal ( Agave sisalana), kenaf ( Hibiscus cannabinus), abaca ( Musa textilis) and curaua ( Ananas erectifolius) has been studied upon spectroscopic (2D-NMR) and chemical degradative (derivatization followed by reductive cleavage) methods. The analyses demonstrate that the structure of the lignins from these plants is highly remarkable, being extensively acylated at the gamma-carbon of the lignin side chain (up to 80% acylation) with acetate and/or p-coumarate groups and preferentially over syringyl units. Whereas the lignins from sisal and kenaf are gamma-acylated exclusively with acetate groups, the lignins from abaca and curaua are esterified with acetate and p-coumarate groups. The structures of all these highly acylated lignins are characterized by a very high syringyl/guaiacyl ratio, a large predominance of beta- O-4' linkages (up to 94% of all linkages), and a strikingly low proportion of traditional beta-beta' linkages, which indeed are completely absent in the lignins from abaca and curaua. The occurrence of beta-beta' homocoupling and cross-coupling products of sinapyl acetate in the lignins from sisal and kenaf indicates that sinapyl alcohol is acetylated at the monomer stage and that, therefore, sinapyl acetate should be considered as a real monolignol involved in the lignification reactions.

  2. Canopy openness, understory light environments, and oak regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian C. McCarthy; Scott A. Robison

    2003-01-01

    Understory light environments were evaluated in four mixed-oak forests in southern Ohio using hemispherical photography. Within each forest, plots were divided into nine treatment combinations based on three pretreatment fire categories and three Integrated Moisture Index (IMI) categories. For each of 108 photographs we determined the percentage of open sky, direct...

  3. Evaluation of the new vacuum infiltration vitrification (viv) cryopreservation technique for native Australian plant shoot tips.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funnekotter, Bryn; Whiteley, Susan E; Turner, Shane R; Bunn, Eric; Mancera, Ricardo L

    2015-01-01

    The application of a vacuum during the incubation in cryoprotective agents such as PVS2 allows for increased penetration, reducing total incubation times required before vitrification and post-cryopreservation regeneration is achieved. This study compared a conventional droplet-vitrification protocol to the new vacuum infiltration vitrification protocol in four Australian plant species. The new vacuum infiltration vitrification applied an 80 kPa vacuum during incubations in loading solution and PVS2. Infiltration of the cryoprotective agents into shoot tips was determined by differential scanning calorimetry measuring ice formation in the thermographs comparing a range of loading solution and PVS2 incubation times. The application of the vacuum infiltration vitrification technique resulted in a significantly reduced PVS2 incubation time for cryogenic survival and regeneration for all four species, reducing the time needed to adequately protect shoot tips by half to a quarter when compared to a conventional droplet-vitrification technique.

  4. Potential of native Thai aromatic plant extracts in antiwrinkle body creams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leelapornpisid, Pimporn; Wickett, R Randall; Chansakaow, Sunee; Wongwattananukul, Nitima

    2015-01-01

    Antioxidant activities of 10 essential oils and 10 absolutes extracted from Thai aromatic plants were evaluated and compared to thyme oil, trolox, quercetin, and kaempferol by two independent assays: the 2, 2-diphenyl-1-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH*) radical scavenging assay and the thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) assay for lipid peroxidation. We found that four essential oils including ginger oil (Zingiber officinale Roscoe), Wan-sao-long leaf oil (Amomum uliginosum Koen), lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus), holy basil oil (Ocimum sanctum L.), and the absolute of dwarf ylang-ylang [Cananga odorata Hook. f. & Thomson var. fruticosa (Craib) J. Sinclair] exhibited high antioxidant activity in both DPPH and TBARS assays and possessed satisfactory fragrance properties. These were then combined into an essential oil blend (EOB) and retested for antioxidant activity. The EOB also exhibited high antioxidant activity in the above assays. It was then incorporated into a stable cream base as EOB body cream. The EOB body cream was found to be best able under storage in stress conditions and presented significantly higher antioxidant activity than its' cream base both before and after stability testing. The effect of EOB body cream on skin surface topography was evaluated in 29 healthy volunteers using the Skin Visiometer (SV 600 FW, CK Electronic GmbH, Germany). Three parameters, Ra, Rz (roughness), and surface, were analyzed. After 4 weeks of application, the EOB body cream showed significant reductions in surface and Rz compared with before treatment (p essential oils and absolutes from Thai plants may serve as potential sources of natural antioxidants for spa and cosmetic products designed to prevent or treat signs of skin aging.

  5. Biocontrol of Rhizoctonia solani damping-off and promotion of tomato plant growth by endophytic actinomycetes isolated from native plants of Algerian Sahara.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudjal, Yacine; Toumatia, Omrane; Yekkour, Amine; Sabaou, Nasserdine; Mathieu, Florence; Zitouni, Abdelghani

    2014-01-20

    Thirty-four endophytic actinomycetes were isolated from the roots of native plants of the Algerian Sahara. Morphological and chemical studies showed that twenty-nine isolates belonged to the Streptomyces genus and five were non-Streptomyces. All isolates were screened for their in vitro antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia solani. The six that had the greatest pathogen inhibitory capacities were subsequently tested for their in vivo biocontrol potential on R. solani damping-off in sterilized and non-sterilized soils, and for their plant-growth promoting activities on tomato seedlings. In both soils, coating tomato seeds with antagonistic isolates significantly reduced (P<0.05) the severity of damping-off of tomato seedlings. Among the isolates tested, the strains CA-2 and AA-2 exhibited the same disease incidence reduction as thioperoxydicarbonic diamide, tetramethylthiram (TMTD) and no significant differences (P<0.05) were observed. Furthermore, they resulted in a significant increase in the seedling fresh weight, the seedling length and the root length of the seed-treated seedlings compared to the control. The taxonomic position based on 16S rDNA sequence analysis and phylogenetic studies indicated that the strains CA-2 and AA-2 were related to Streptomyces mutabilis NBRC 12800(T) (100% of similarity) and Streptomyces cyaneofuscatus JCM 4364(T) (100% of similarity), respectively.

  6. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Water is one of the key factors driving ecosystem productivity, especially in water-limited ecosystems. Thus a separation of these component fluxes is needed to gain a functional understanding on the development of net ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Oxygen isotope signatures are valuable tracers for such water movements within the ecosystem because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water in the soil and vegetation. Here, a novel approach was used (Dubbert et al., 2013), combining a custom build flow-through gas-exchange branch chamber with a Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland where two vegetation layers respond differently to drought: oak-trees (Quercus suber L.) avoid drought due to their access to ground water while herbaceous plants survive the summer as seeds. We used this approach to quantify the impact of the understory herbaceous vegetation on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes throughout the year and disentangle how ET components of the ecosystem relate to carbon dioxide exchange. Partitioning ecosystem ET and NEE into its three sources revealed that understory vegetation contributed markedly to ecosystem ET and gross primary production (GPP; max. 43 and 51%, respectively). It reached similar water-use efficiencies (WUE) as cork-oak trees and significantly contributed to the ecosystem sink-strength in spring and fall. The understory vegetation layer further strongly inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish ecosystem WUE during water-limited times (Dubbert et al., 2014a). Although, during most of the year, interactions with trees neither facilitated nor hampered the development of the understory vegetation, strong competition for water could be observed at the end of the growing period, which shortened the life-cycle of understory plants and significantly reduced the carbon uptake of the ecosystem in spring (Dubbert et al., 2014b). Finally, herbaceous understory

  7. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse

  8. Phytoremediation potential and ecological and phenological changes of native pioneer plants from weathered oil spill-impacted sites at tropical wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma-Cruz, Felipe de J; Pérez-Vargas, Josefina; Rivera Casado, Noemí Araceli; Gómez Guzmán, Octavio; Calva-Calva, Graciano

    2016-08-01

    Pioneer native plant species from weathered oil spill-affected sites were selected to study their potential for phytoremediation on the basis of their ecological and phenological changes during the phytoremediation process. Experiments were conducted in field and in greenhouse. In field, native plants from aged oil spill-impacted sites with up 400 g of weathered petroleum hydrocarbons per kilogram soil were selected. In the impacted sites, the principal dominant plant species with potential for hydrocarbons removal were Cyperus laxus, Cyperus esculentus, and Ludwigia peploides. In greenhouse, the phenology of the selected plant species was drastically affected by the hydrocarbons level above 325 g total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) per kilogram soil after 2 years of phytoremediation of soils from the aged oil spill-impacted sites. From the phytoremediation treatments, a mix-culture of C. laxus, C. esculentus, and L. peploides in soil containing 325 g TPH/kg soil, from which 20.3 % were polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and 34.2 % were asphaltenes (ASF), was able to remove up 93 % of the TPH, while in unvegetated soil the TPH removal was 12.6 %. Furthermore, evaluation of the biodiversity and life forms of plant species in the impacted sites showed that phytoremediation with C. esculentus, alone or in a mix-culture with C. laxus and L. peploides, reduces the TPH to such extent that the native plant community was progressively reestablished by replacing the cultivated species resulting in the ecological recovery of the affected soil. These results demonstrate that native Cyperus species from weathered oil spill-affected sites, specifically C. esculentus and C. laxus, alone or in a mix-culture, have particular potential for phytoremediation of soils from tropical wetlands contaminated with weathered oil hydrocarbons.

  9. Patterns of Understory Diversity in Mixed Coniferous Forests of Southern California Impacted by Air Pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith B. Allen

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The forests of the San Bernardino Mountains have been subject to ozone and nitrogen (N deposition for some 60 years. Much work has been done to assess the impacts of these pollutants on trees, but little is known about how the diverse understory flora has fared. Understory vegetation has declined in diversity in response to elevated N in the eastern U.S. and Europe. Six sites along an ozone and N deposition gradient that had been part of a long-term study on response of plants to air pollution beginning in 1973 were resampled in 2003. Historic ozone data and leaf injury scores confirmed the gradient. Present-day ozone levels were almost half of these, and recent atmospheric N pollution concentrations confirmed the continued air pollution gradient. Both total and extractable soil N were higher in sites on the western end of the gradient closer to the urban source of pollution, pH was lower, and soil carbon (C and litter were higher. The gradient also had decreasing precipitation and increasing elevation from west to east. However, the dominant tree species were the same across the gradient.

  10. Retention of gene diversity during the spread of a non-native plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandepitte, Katrien; Helsen, Kenny; Van Acker, Kasper; Mergeay, Joachim; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-06-01

    Spatial expansion, which is a crucial stage in the process to successful biological invasion, is anticipated to profoundly affect the magnitude and spatial distribution of genetic diversity in novel colonized areas. Here, we show that, contrasting common expectations, Pyrenean rocket (Sisymbrium austriacum), retained SNP diversity as this introduced plant species descended in the Meuse River Basin. Allele frequencies did not mirror between-population distances along the predominant expansion axis. Reconstruction of invasion history based on the genotypes of historical herbarium specimens indicated no influence of additional introductions or multiple points of entry on this nongradual pattern. Assignment analysis suggested the admixture of distant upstream sources in recently founded downstream populations. River dynamics seem to have facilitated occasional long-distance dispersal which brought diversity to the expansion front and so maintained evolutionary potential. Our findings highlight the merit of a historical framework in interpreting extant patterns of genetic diversity in introduced species and underscore the need to integrate long-distance dispersal events in theoretical work on the genetic consequences of range expansion. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. The Impact of Anjir –tangeh Coal Washing Plant on Concentration of Some Heavy Metals in the Native Vegetation, Mazandaran Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samaneh Safari Sinegani

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A large volume of tailings has been produced in Anjir-tangeh coal washing plant for 22 years of human activity. The coal washing activities have reduced plant diversity near the plant. The environmental impact of coal washing plant on the vegetation around the factory was studied in two seasons. The concentrations of Pb, Cd and Cr, measured in different native plant species, were in normal ranges in summer. In fall, the concentrations of Pb, Cd and Cr in the plants around the factory were similar to those in plants in the control area. In summer, however, the metal concentrations were considerably higher in plants grown near the factory than in the plants of the control area. This difference was statistically significant at 0.01 levels for Cd, but not for Pb and Cr. Among the studied plant species, Oxalis Sphad the highest Cd concentration (0.409 ppm, but Chenopodium album L had the lowest Cr concentration in summer. Season was an effective factor in the uptake of heavy metals by plants; metal concentration in plants was considerably higher in fall than in summer.

  12. ESTABLISHMENT TECHNIQUES FOR TROPICAL LEGUMES IN THE UNDERSTORY OF A EUCALYPTUS PLANTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luiza Franceschi Nicodemo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated establishment methods for a mixture of herbaceous forage legumes [Centrosema acutifolium, Clitoria ternatea, Pueraria phaseoloides, Stylosanthes Campo Grande (Stylosanthes capitata + S. macrocephala, Calopogonium mucunoides, Lablab purpureus, Arachis pintoi, and Aeschynomene villosa] under the shade of an Eucalyptus grandis plantation submitted to thinning (40% 8 years after planting in Anhembi, São Paulo (22°40'S, 48°10'W, altitude of 455 m. The experiment started in December 2008 and consisted of the comparison of the following four types of seed incorporation by light disc harrowing: (1 broadcast sowing without seed incorporation; disc harrowing before (2 or after (3 planting, and (4 disc harrowing before and after planting. Ninety days after planting, the number of legume plants/m2 and the percentage of ground cover by the plants varied between the treatments tested; however, the treatments had no effect on the dry matter accumulation of forage legumes. Disc harrowing before planting yielded superior results compared to the treatments without disc harrowing and disc harrowing after planting. At the end of the experimental period, the plots contained Arachis, Centrosema, Stylosanthes, and Pueraria. The dry matter accumulated by Centrosema corresponded to 73% of total dry matter yield of the plots. The participation of Arachis, Centrosema and Stylosanthes in final dry matter composition of the plots varied according to establishment method. The advantages of the use of species mixtures rather than monocultures in the understory of forest plantations were discussed.

  13. Spatial Heterogeneity of the Forest Canopy Scales with the Heterogeneity of an Understory Shrub Based on Fractal Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine K. Denny

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Spatial heterogeneity of vegetation is an important landscape characteristic, but is difficult to assess due to scale-dependence. Here we examine how spatial patterns in the forest canopy affect those of understory plants, using the shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis (L. Nutt. as a focal species. Evergreen and deciduous forest canopy and buffaloberry shrub presence were measured with line-intercept sampling along ten 2-km transects in the Rocky Mountain foothills of west-central Alberta, Canada. Relationships between overstory canopy and understory buffaloberry presence were assessed for scales ranging from 2 m to 502 m. Fractal dimensions of both canopy and buffaloberry were estimated and then related using box-counting methods to evaluate spatial heterogeneity based on patch distribution and abundance. Effects of canopy presence on buffaloberry were scale-dependent, with shrub presence negatively related to evergreen canopy cover and positively related to deciduous cover. The effect of evergreen canopy was significant at a local scale between 2 m and 42 m, while that of deciduous canopy was significant at a meso-scale between 150 m and 358 m. Fractal analysis indicated that buffaloberry heterogeneity positively scaled with evergreen canopy heterogeneity, but was unrelated to that of deciduous canopy. This study demonstrates that evergreen canopy cover is a determinant of buffaloberry heterogeneity, highlighting the importance of spatial scale and canopy composition in understanding canopy-understory relationships.

  14. Differential responses of C3 and CAM native Brazilian plant species to a SO2- and SPMFe-contaminated Restinga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Luzimar Campos; de Araújo, Talita Oliveira; Martinez, Carlos Alberto; de Almeida Lobo, Francisco; Azevedo, Aristéa Alves; Oliva, Marco Antonio

    2015-09-01

    Aiming to evaluate responses in terms of growth rates, physiological parameters, and degree of sensitivity to SO2 and SPMFe in Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtaceae, a C3 species) and Clusia hilariana Schlecht (Clusiaceae, a CAM species); saplings were exposed to emissions from a pelletizing factory for 7 months. The species were distributed along a transect (200, 500, 800, 1400, and 1700 m away from the emission source), and analyses were performed after 71, 118, and 211 days of exposure to the pollutants. E. uniflora received higher superficial deposition of particulate iron. The highest total iron foliar contents were observed 200 m away from the emission source in both plant species, while the highest total sulfur foliar contents were observed 200 m away in C. hilariana and 800 m away in E. uniflora. E. uniflora presented decreased values of height growth rate, number of necrotic leaves, chlorophyll analysis (SPAD index) and transpiration, in relation to the distances from the emission source. C. hilariana showed decreased values of height growth rate, number of leaves, number of necrotic leaves, total ionic permeability, stomatal conductance, transpiration, net CO2 assimilation, and total dry matter, in relation to distances from the emission source. In relation to the days of exposure, both species presented increased number of necrotic leaves and foliar phytotoxicity index, and decreased values in the chlorophyll analysis. The two native plant species, both of which occur in the Brazilian Restinga, showed damage when exposed to emissions from an iron ore pelletizing factory. C. hilariana was considered the most sensitive species due to the decreased values in a higher number of variables after exposition.

  15. Changes in soil diversity and global activities following invasions of the exotic invasive plant, Amaranthus viridis L., decrease the growth of native sahelian Acacia species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanon, Arsene; Béguiristain, Thierry; Cébron, Aurelie; Berthelin, Jacques; Ndoye, Ibrahima; Leyval, Corinne; Sylla, Samba; Duponnois, Robin

    2009-10-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine whether the invasive plant Amaranthus viridis influenced soil microbial and chemical properties and to assess the consequences of these modifications on native plant growth. The experiment was conducted in Senegal at two sites: one invaded by A. viridis and the other covered by other plant species. Soil nutrient contents as well as microbial community density, diversity and functions were measured. Additionally, five sahelian Acacia species were grown in (1) soil disinfected or not collected from both sites, (2) uninvaded soil exposed to an A. viridis plant aqueous extract and (3) soil collected from invaded and uninvaded sites and inoculated or not with the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices. The results showed that the invasion of A. viridis increased soil nutrient availability, bacterial abundance and microbial activities. In contrast, AM fungi and rhizobial development and the growth of Acacia species were severely reduced in A. viridis-invaded soil. Amaranthus viridis aqueous extract also exhibited an inhibitory effect on rhizobial growth, indicating an antibacterial activity of this plant extract. However, the inoculation of G. intraradices was highly beneficial to the growth and nodulation of Acacia species. These results highlight the role of AM symbiosis in the processes involved in plant coexistence and in ecosystem management programs that target preservation of native plant diversity.

  16. Increasing functional modularity with residence time in the co-distribution of native and introduced vascular plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Cang; Richardson, David M.; Pyšek, Petr; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Kučera, Tomáš; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2013-01-01

    Species gain membership of regional assemblages by passing through multiple ecological and environmental filters. To capture the potential trajectory of structural changes in regional meta-communities driven by biological invasions, one can categorize species pools into assemblages of different residence times. Older assemblages, having passed through more environmental filters, should become more functionally ordered and structured. Here we calculate the level of compartmentalization (modularity) for three different-aged assemblages (neophytes, introduced after 1500 AD; archaeophytes, introduced before 1500 AD, and natives), including 2,054 species of vascular plants in 302 reserves in central Europe. Older assemblages are more compartmentalized than younger ones, with species composition, phylogenetic structure and habitat characteristics of the modules becoming increasingly distinctive. This sheds light on two mechanisms of how alien species are functionally incorporated into regional species pools: the settling-down hypothesis of diminishing stochasticity with residence time, and the niche-mosaic hypothesis of inlaid neutral modules in regional meta-communities. PMID:24045305

  17. Native Americans' Interest in Horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Mary Hockenberry

    1999-01-01

    Focus groups arranged by local Native American Master Gardeners on two Minnesota reservations determined community interest in extension-horticulture programs. Topics of interest included food preservation and historical Native-American uses of plants. (SK)

  18. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess Nahanni Grainger

    Full Text Available Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest

  19. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Turkington, Roy

    2013-01-01

    Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually) on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest understory.

  20. Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Alice Boyle

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive phenologies of plants are constrained by climate in highly seasonal regions. In contrast, plants growing in wet tropical forests are freed from many abiotic constraints, which in canopy tree communities lead to a rich diversity of phenological patterns within and among individuals, species and communities. However, basic descriptions of tropical phenological patterns and the processes that shape them are rare. Here, we document the individual-, population-, and landscape-level phenological patterns of two dominant families of understory woody plants important to avian frugivores, the Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, along an elevational transect in Costa Rica. The 226 individual plants belonging to 35 species in this study, varied in the number of reproductive bouts/year, and the timing, duration, and synchrony of reproductive stages. This variation was not related to factors related to their interactions with mutualists and antagonists, nor did it appear to be constrained by phylogeny. Diverse phenological patterns among species led to relatively aseasonal patterns at the community and landscape level. Overall, evidence for biotic processes shaping temporal patterns of fruiting phenology was weak or absent. These findings reveal a number of unexplained patterns, and suggest that factors shaping phenology in relatively aseasonal forests operate in idiosyncratic ways at the species level.En regiones con marcada estacionalidad, los patrones fenológicos de las plantas están limitados por el clima. Por el contrario, las plantas que crecen en bosques húmedos tropicales, no tienen tantas limitaciones abióticas y es por esto que el dosel presenta una diversidad muy rica en los patrones fenológicos de individuos, especies y comunidades. Sin embargo, es muy escasa la información sobre la descripción básica de los patrones fenológicos tropicales y de los procesos que los afectan. En este documento, presentamos los patrones fenol

  1. Selection of native plants with phytoremediation potential for highly contaminated Mediterranean soil restoration: Tools for a non-destructive and integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckenroth, Alma; Rabier, Jacques; Dutoit, Thierry; Torre, Franck; Prudent, Pascale; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to develop an effective and non-destructive method for the selection of native Mediterranean plants with phytoremediation potential based on their spontaneous recovery capacities. The study site consisted in a mixed contaminated soils (As, Cu, Pb, Sb, Zn) in the vicinity of a former lead smelting factory abandoned since 1925 in the Calanques National Park (Marseille, southeastern France). We developed an integrated characterization approach that takes into account topsoil metal(loid)s (MM) contamination, plant community composition and structure and mesologic parameters without using destructive methods. From a statistical selection of significant environmental descriptors, plant communities were described and interpreted as the result of spontaneous recovery under multiple stresses and local conditions (both natural and anthropogenic). We collected phytoecological and MM topsoil data using field monitoring and geographic information system (GIS) on a pollution hotspot where natural plant communities occur. The results of the multivariate analysis performed between species and descriptors indicated that a century of MM pollution pressure produced a significant correlation with plant community dynamics in terms of composition, diversity and structure, leading to the co-occurrence of different plant succession stages. Thus, these successions seemed linked to the variability of anthropogenic disturbance regimes within the study site. We recorded high topsoil contamination heterogeneity at the scale both of the plot and of the whole study area that suggested a heterogeneous MM distribution pattern dependent on the source of contaminants and site environmental variability. We identified 4 spontaneous plant communities co-occurring through a MM contamination gradient that could be used later from degraded to reference communities to define ecological restoration target combined to phytoremediation applications with respect to local conditions

  2. Altitudinal occurrence of non-native plant species (neophytes) and their habitat affinity to anthropogenic biotopes in conditions of South-Western Slovakia

    OpenAIRE

    Beniak Michal; Pauková Žaneta; Fehér Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Many ecological studies showed that species density (the number of species per unit area) in nonnative organism groups of the mountain areas decreases with increasing altitude. The aim of the paper is to determine the variability in the incidence of non-native plant species (neophytes) associated with the change in altitude and links of the invading taxons to reference habitat types, as well as their links to three ecologically very similar, however in natural conditions, different areas. In ...

  3. Native grasslands fertilize themselves

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — News article about Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge and how the native soils and plants function to stimulate the system, creating a more productive grassland.

  4. The effects of understory vegetation on P availability in Pinus radiata forest stands:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A. Arivin Rivaie

    2014-01-01

    In many second-rotation Pinus radiata forest planta-tions, there has been a steady trend towards wider tree spacing and an increased rate of application of P fertiliser. Under these regimes, the potential for understory growth is expected to in-crease through increased light and greater nutrient resources. Therefore, understory vegetation could become a more signifi-cant component of P cycling in P. radiata forests than under closely-spaced stands. Studies have shown that growth rates and survival of trees is reduced in the presence of understory vegeta-tion due to the competition of understory vegetation with trees. Other studies have suggested that understory vegetation might have beneficial effects on nutrient cycling and conservation within forest stands. This review discusses the significance of understory vegetation in radiata pine forest stands, especially their role in enhancing or reducing P availability to forest trees.

  5. Modeling spatiotemporal patterns of understory light intensity using airborne laser scanner (LiDAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shouzhang; Zhao, Chuanyan; Xu, Zhonglin

    2014-11-01

    This study described a spatiotemporally explicit 3D raytrace model to provide spatiotemporal patterns of understory light (light intensity in the forest floor and along the vertical gradient). The model was built based on voxels derived from LiDAR and field investigation data, geographical information (elevation and location), and solar position (azimuth and altitude angles). We calculated the distance (L, in meters) traveled by solar ray in the crowns based on the model, and then calibrated and verified the light attenuation function using L based on Beer's law. L and the ratio of below canopy light intensity to above canopy light intensity showed obviously exponential relationship, with R2 = 0.94 and P competition, soil evaporation, plant transpiration, and snowmelt in the forest.

  6. Comparison of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Community in Roots and Rhizosphere of Invasive Cenchrus incertus and Native Plant in Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dan XIANG; Baodong CHEN; Huan LI; Ruojuan LI; Xin ZHANG

    2016-01-01

    Plant invasions could significantly alter arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities, but the effect may vary with plant species and local environments. Identifying changes in the AM fungal community due to plant invasion could improve our understanding of the invasion processes. Here, we examined the AM fungal community composition both in roots and rhizo-sphere soils of the invasive plant Cenchrus incertus and the dominant native plant Setaria viridis in a typical steppe in Inner Mongolia by using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses (T-RFLP). The results showed that AM fungal abundance in the rhizosphere soils of C. incertus was significantly lower than that of S. viridis. The AM fungal community com-position in the rhizosphere soils of the two plant species also largely differed. In general, AM fungal community structures in roots corresponded very wel to that in rhizosphere soils for both plant species. The dominant AM fungal type both in invasive and native plants was T-RFLP 524bp, which represents Glomus sp. (Virtual taxa 109 and 287). Three specific T-RF types (280, 190 and 141bp) were significantly more abundant in C. incertus, representing three clusters in Glomus which also named as VT (virtual taxa) 287, 64 and 214, Rhizophagus intraradices (VT 113) and Diversispora sp. (VT 60). While the specific T-RF types, 189 and 279bp, for S. viridis, only existed in Glomus cluster 1 (VT 156), were significantly less abundant in C. incertus. These results indicated that AM fungi might play an important role in the invasion process of C. incertus, which stil remains to be fur-ther investigated.

  7. Screening of native plants and algae growing on fly-ash affected areas near National Thermal Power Corporation, Tanda, Uttar Pradesh, India for accumulation of toxic heavy metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, S; Srivastava, S; Mishra, S; Dixit, B; Kumar, A; Tripathi, R D

    2008-10-30

    The present investigation was carried out to screen native plants growing in fly-ash (FA) contaminated areas near National Thermal Power Corporation, Tanda, Uttar Pradesh, India with a view to using them for the eco-restoration of the area. A total number of 17 plants (9 aquatic, 6 terrestrial and 2 algal species) were collected and screened for heavy metal (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mo, B, Si, Al, Cr, Pb, Cd, Hg and As) accumulation. Differential accumulation of various heavy metals by different species of plants was observed. Hydrilla verticillata was found to be the most efficient metal accumulator among 9 aquatic plants, Eclipta alba among 6 terrestrial plants and Phormedium papyraceum between 2 algal species. In general, the maximum levels of most metals were found in terrestrial plants while the lowest in algal species. However, translocation of the metals from root to shoot was found to be higher in aquatic plants than terrestrial ones. These results suggest that various aquatic, terrestrial and algal species of plants may be used in a synergistic way to remediate and restore the FA contaminated areas.

  8. Asháninka medicinal plants: a case study from the native community of Bajo Quimiriki, Junín, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luziatelli Gaia

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Asháninka Native Community Bajo Quimiriki, District Pichanaki, Junín, Peru, is located only 4 km from a larger urban area and is dissected by a major road. Therefore the loss of traditional knowledge is a main concern of the local headman and inhabitants. The present study assesses the state of traditional medicinal plant knowledge in the community and compares the local pharmacopoeia with the one from a related ethnic group. Methods Fieldwork was conducted between July and September 2007. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, collection of medicinal plants in the homegardens, forest walks, a walk along the river banks, participant observation, informal conversation, cross check through voucher specimens and a focus group interview with children. Results Four-hundred and two medicinal plants, mainly herbs, were indicated by the informants. The most important families in terms of taxa were Asteraceae, Araceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Solanaceae and Piperaceae. Eighty-four percent of the medicinal plants were wild and 63% were collected from the forest. Exotics accounted to only 2% of the medicinal plants. Problems related to the dermal system, digestive system, and cultural belief system represented 57% of all the medicinal applications. Some traditional healers received non-indigenous customers, using their knowledge as a source of income. Age and gender were significantly correlated to medicinal plant knowledge. Children knew the medicinal plants almost exclusively by their Spanish names. Sixteen percent of the medicinal plants found in this community were also reported among the Yanesha of the Pasco Region. Conclusions Despite the vicinity to a city, knowledge on medicinal plants and cultural beliefs are still abundant in this Asháninka Native Community and the medicinal plants are still available in the surroundings. Nevertheless, the use of Spanish names for the medicinal plants and the shift of

  9. Changes in defense of an alien plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia before and after the invasion of a native specialist enemy Ophraella communa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuya Fukano

    Full Text Available The evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis (EICA predicts that when alien plants are free from their natural enemies they evolve lower allocation to defense in order to achieve a higher growth rate. If this hypothesis is true, the converse implication would be that the defense against herbivory could be restored if a natural enemy also becomes present in the introduced range. We tested this scenario in the case of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed - a species that invaded Japan from North America. We collected seeds from five North American populations, three populations in enemy free areas of Japan and four populations in Japan where the specialist herbivore Ophraella communa naturalized recently. Using plants grown in a common garden in Japan, we compared performance of O. communa with a bioassay experiment. Consistent with the EICA hypothesis, invasive Japanese populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited a weakened defense against the specialist herbivores and higher growth rate than native populations. Conversely, in locations where the herbivore O. communa appeared during the past decade, populations of A. artemisiifolia exhibited stronger defensive capabilities. These results strengthen the case for EICA and suggest that defense levels of alien populations can be recuperated rapidly after the native specialist becomes present in the introduced range. Our study implies that the plant defense is evolutionary labile depending on plant-herbivore interactions.

  10. Dynamics of the association between a long-lived understory myrmecophyte and its specific associated ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orivel, Jérôme; Lambs, Luc; Malé, Pierre-Jean G; Leroy, Céline; Grangier, Julien; Otto, Thierry; Quilichini, Angélique; Dejean, Alain

    2011-02-01

    Myrmecophytic symbioses are widespread in tropical ecosystems and their diversity makes them useful tools for understanding the origin and evolution of mutualisms. Obligate ant-plants, or myrmecophytes, provide a nesting place, and, often, food to a limited number of plant-ant species. In exchange, plant-ants protect their host plants from herbivores, competitors and pathogens, and can provide them with nutrients. Although most studies to date have highlighted a similar global pattern of interactions in these systems, little is known about the temporal structuring and dynamics of most of these associations. In this study we focused on the association between the understory myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora (Chrysobalanaceae) and its obligate ant partner Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae). An examination of the life histories and growth rates of both partners demonstrated that this plant species has a much longer lifespan (up to about 350 years) than its associated ant colonies (up to about 21 years). The size of the ant colonies and their reproductive success were strongly limited by the available nesting space provided by the host plants. Moreover, the resident ants positively affected the vegetative growth of their host plant, but had a negative effect on its reproduction by reducing the number of flowers and fruits by more than 50%. Altogether our results are important to understanding the evolutionary dynamics of ant-plant symbioses. The highly specialized interaction between long-lived plants and ants with a shorter lifespan produces an asymmetry in the evolutionary rates of the interaction which, in return, can affect the degree to which the interests of the two partners converge.

  11. Effects of nutrient and lime additions in mine site rehabilitation strategies on the accumulation of antimony and arsenic by native Australian plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Susan C; Leech, Calvin D; Butler, Leo; Lisle, Leanne; Ashley, Paul M; Lockwood, Peter V

    2013-10-15

    The effects of nutrient and lime additions on antimony (Sb) and arsenic (As) accumulation by native Australian and naturalised plants growing in two contaminated mine site soils (2,735 mg kg(-1) and 4,517 mg kg(-1) Sb; 826 mg kg(-1) and 1606 As mgkg(-1)) was investigated using a glasshouse pot experiment. The results indicated an increase in soil solution concentrations with nutrient addition in both soils and also with nutrient+lime addition for Sb in one soil. Metalloid concentrations in plant roots were significantly greater than concentrations in above ground plant parts. The metalloid transfer to above ground plant parts from the roots and from the soil was, however, low (ratio of leaf concentration/soil concentration≪1) for all species studied. Eucalyptus michaeliana was the most successful at colonisation with lowest metalloid transfer to above ground plant parts. Addition of nutrients and nutrients+lime to soils, in general, increased plant metalloid accumulation. Relative As accumulation was greater than that of Sb. All the plant species studied were suitable for consideration in the mine soil phytostabilisation strategies but lime additions should be limited and longer term trials also recommended.

  12. Effects of water stress, organic amendment and mycorrhizal inoculation on soil microbial community structure and activity during the establishment of two heavy metal-tolerant native plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, D A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R; Caravaca, F; Bååth, E

    2012-05-01

    Our aim was to examine the effect of water stress on plant growth and development of two native plant species (Tetraclinis articulata and Crithmum maritimum) and on microbial community composition and activity in the rhizosphere soil, following the addition of an organic amendment, namely sugar beet residue (SBR), and/or the inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus, namely Glomus mosseae, in a non-sterile heavy metal-polluted soil. The AM inoculation did not have any significant effect on plant growth of both species. In T. articulata, SBR increased shoot growth, foliar P, total phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA), fungi-related PLFA, AM fungi-related neutral lipid fatty acid, bacterial gram-positive/gram-negative PLFA ratio and the β-glucosidase and dehydrogenase activities. SBR and AM inoculation increased phosphatase activity in T. articulata plants grown under drought conditions. In both plants, there was a synergistic effect between AM inoculation and SBR on mycorrhizal colonisation under drought conditions. In C. maritimum, the increase produced by the SBR on total amounts of PLFA, bacterial gram-positive-related PLFA and bacterial gram-negative-related PLFA was considerably higher under drought conditions. Our results suggest that the effectiveness of the amendment with regard to stimulating microbial communities and plant growth was largely limited by drought, particularly for plant species with a low degree of mycorrhizal colonisation.

  13. A model for estimating understory vegetation response to fertilization and precipitation in loblolly pine plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis L. VanderSchaaf; Ryan W. McKnight; Thomas R. Fox; H. Lee Allen

    2010-01-01

    A model form is presented, where the model contains regressors selected for inclusion based on biological rationale, to predict how fertilization, precipitation amounts, and overstory stand density affect understory vegetation biomass. Due to time, economic, and logistic constraints, datasets of large sample sizes generally do not exist for understory vegetation. Thus...

  14. Influence of light and soil moisture on Sierran mixed-conifer understory communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm North; Brian Oakley; Rob Fiegener; Andrew Gray; Michael. Barbour

    2005-01-01

    Sierra Nevada forests have high understory species richness yet we do not know which site factors influence herb and shrub distribution or abundance. We examined the understory of an old-growth mixed-conifer Sierran forest and its distribution in relation to microsite conditions. The forest has high species richness (98 species sampled), most of which are herbs with...

  15. Early understory biomass response to organic matter removal and soil compaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix Jr. Ponder

    2008-01-01

    In the Missouri Ozarks, 6 and 8 years after treatment, understory biomass differences between bole only harvesting (BO) and whole-tree plus forest floor harvesting were not different; neither were there understory biomass differences between no compaction and severe compaction. Separation of the biomass into broad species categories (trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials...

  16. Cross-scale modelling of alien and native vascular plant species richness in Great Britain: where is geodiversity information most relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Joseph; Field, Richard; Boyd, Doreen

    2016-04-01

    We assess the scale-dependency of the relationship between biodiversity and novel geodiversity information by studying spatial patterns of native and alien (archaeophytes and neophytes) vascular plant species richness at varying spatial scales across Great Britain. Instead of using a compound geodiversity metric, we study individual geodiversity components (GDCs) to advance our understanding of which aspects of 'geodiversity' are most important and at what scale. Terrestrial native (n = 1,490) and alien (n = 1,331) vascular plant species richness was modelled across the island of Great Britain at two grain sizes and several extent radii. Various GDCs (landforms, hydrology, geology) were compiled from existing national datasets and automatically extracted landform coverage information (e.g. hollows, valleys, peaks), the latter using a digital elevation model (DEM) and geomorphometric techniques. More traditional predictors of species richness (climate, widely-used topography metrics, land cover diversity, and human population) were also incorporated. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) models were produced at all grain sizes and extents for each species group and the dominant predictors were assessed. Models with and without geodiversity data were compared. Overarching patterns indicated a clear dominance of geodiversity information at the smallest study extent (12.5km radius) and finest grain size (1x1km), which substantially decreased for each increase in extent as the contribution of climatic variables increased. The contribution of GDCs to biodiversity models was chiefly driven by landform information from geomorphometry, but hydrology (rivers and lakes), and to a lesser extent materials (soil, superficial deposits, and geology), were important, also. GDCs added significantly to vascular plant biodiversity models in Great Britain, independently of widely-used topographic metrics, particularly for native species. The wider consideration of geodiversity alongside

  17. How to eliminate the formation of chlorogenic acids artefacts during plants analysis? Sea sand disruption method (SSDM) in the HPLC analysis of chlorogenic acids and their native derivatives in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wianowska, Dorota; Typek, Rafał; Dawidowicz, Andrzej L

    2015-09-01

    The analytical procedures for determining plant constituents involve the application of sample preparation methods to fully isolate and/or pre-concentrate the analyzed substances. High-temperature liquid extraction is still applied most frequently for this purpose. The present paper shows that high-temperature extraction cannot be applied for the analysis of chlorogenic acids (CQAs) and their derivatives in plants as it causes the CQAs transformation leading to erroneous quantitative estimations of these compounds. Experiments performed on different plants (black elder, hawthorn, nettle, yerba maté, St John's wort and green coffee) demonstrate that the most appropriate method for the estimation of CQAs/CQAs derivatives is sea sand disruption method (SSDM) because it does not induce any transformation and/or degradation processes in the analyzed substances. Owing to the SSDM method application we found that the investigated plants, besides four main CQAs, contain sixteen CQAs derivatives, among them three quinic acids. The application of SSDM in plant analysis not only allows to establish a true concentration of individual CQAs in the examined plants but also to determine which chlorogenic acids derivatives are native plant components and what is their concentration level. What is even more important, the application of SSDM in plant analysis allows to eliminate errors that may arise or might have arisen in the study of chlorogenic acids and their derivatives in plant metabolism.

  18. Do alien plant species profit more from high resource supply than natives? : A trait-based analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Olff, Han

    Aim Previous studies comparing conditions of high- versus low-resource environments have pointed at differences in key traits that would allow aliens to perform better than natives under high-resource conditions. We generalize and test the robustness of this idea by exploring how trait

  19. Mexican fruit fly (Diptera: tephritidae) and the phenology of its native host plant, Yellow Chapote (Rutaceae) in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    In northeastern Mexico, the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), breeds on its native host, yellow chapote, Casimiroa greggii (Wats.), which typically produces fruit in the spring. Peak populations of the fly occur in late spring or early summer when adults emerge from the generation of lar...

  20. Do alien plant species profit more from high resource supply than natives? : A trait-based analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Olff, Han

    2013-01-01

    Aim Previous studies comparing conditions of high- versus low-resource environments have pointed at differences in key traits that would allow aliens to perform better than natives under high-resource conditions. We generalize and test the robustness of this idea by exploring how trait differentiati

  1. The Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius (Fabaceae), a paradox in Denmark – an invasive plant or endangered native species?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenmeier, Lars; Kjær, Erik Dahl; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard

    2013-01-01

    Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius, spreads rapidly in parts of Denmark and is considered an invasive species by some authors. However, the species has been present in the Danish flora for centuries and is therefore considered native to Denmark. In the present study we explore whether Danish Scotch...

  2. Photosynthetic responses to understory shade and elevated carbon dioxide concentration in four northern hardwood tree species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sefcik, L.T.; Zak, D.R.; Ellsworth, D.S. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (United States). School of Natural Resources and Environment

    2006-12-15

    The stimulation of photosynthesis in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) varies among tree species and species groups and is compounded by other environmental conditions. This study investigated whether understory shade modified light-limited and light-saturated photosynthetic rates in species differing in shade tolerance grown in an elevated CO{sub 2} environment. The study aimed to validate the hypothesis that shade-intolerant species would have a greater photosynthetic response to elevated CO-2 than shade-tolerant species. To evaluate the hypothesis, various species of tree seedlings were grown in elevated and ambient CO{sub 2} in understory conditions of deep or moderate shade. Light-limited and light-saturated photosynthetic rates were measured in order to examine the physiological changes related to CO{sub 2} and light availability in Acer saccharum Marsh; Fagus grandifolia; Prunus serotina; and Betula paprifera Marsh. Results of the study showed that the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment increased mean light-saturated photosynthetic rates by 63 per cent in the shade-tolerant species, and 67 per cent in the shade-intolerant species. However, long-term enhancement of photosynthesis was 10 per cent lower when measured at the elevated CO{sub 2} than in the instantaneous enhancement noted in ambient CO{sub 2} grown plants. Growth light environment affected long-term photosynthetic enhancement by CO{sub 2}. When growth irradiance increased, proportional enhancement due to elevated CO{sub 2} decreased from 97 per cent for plants grown in deep shade to 47 per cent for plants grown in moderate shade. Results indicated that trees grown in deep shade in nitrogen-limited northern temperate forests may display greater photosynthetic gains from a CO{sub 2} enriched atmosphere than trees growing in more moderate shade. It was concluded that if photosynthetic gains by deep-shade grown plants in response to elevated CO{sub 2} translate into improved growth and

  3. Managing Understory Vegetation for Maintaining Productivity in Black Spruce Forests: A Synthesis within a Multi-Scale Research Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Joanisse

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable management of boreal ecosystems involves the establishment of vigorous tree regeneration after harvest. However, two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success in eastern boreal Canada. Ericaceous shrubs are recognized to rapidly dominate susceptible boreal sites after harvest. Such dominance reduces recruitment and causes stagnant conifer growth, lasting decades on some sites. Additionally, peat accumulation due to Sphagnum growth after harvest forces the roots of regenerating conifers out of the relatively nutrient rich and warm mineral soil into the relatively nutrient poor and cool organic layer, with drastic effects on growth. Shifts from once productive black spruce forests to ericaceous heaths or paludified forests affect forest productivity and biodiversity. Under natural disturbance dynamics, fires severe enough to substantially reduce the organic layer thickness and affect ground cover species are required to establish a productive regeneration layer on such sites. We succinctly review how understory vegetation influences black spruce ecosystem dynamics in eastern boreal Canada, and present a multi-scale research model to understand, limit the loss and restore productive and diverse ecosystems in this region. Our model integrates knowledge of plant-level mechanisms in the development of silvicultural tools to sustain productivity. Fundamental knowledge is integrated at stand, landscape, regional and provincial levels to understand the distribution and dynamics of ericaceous shrubs and paludification processes and to support tactical and strategic forest management. The model can be adapted and applied to other natural resource management problems, in other biomes.

  4. Soil microbial community structure and function responses to successive planting of Eucalyptus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Falin; Zheng, Hua; Zhang, Kai; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Li, Huailin; Wu, Bing; Shi, Qian

    2013-10-01

    Many studies have shown soil degradation after the conversion of native forests to exotic Eucalyptus plantations. However, few studies have investigated the long-term impacts of short-rotation forestry practices on soil microorganisms. The impacts of Eucalyptus successive rotations on soil microbial communities were evaluated by comparing phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) abundances, compositions, and enzyme activities of native Pinus massoniana plantations and adjacent 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Eucalyptus plantations. The conversion from P. massoniana to Eucalyptus plantations significantly decreased soil microbial community size and enzyme activities, and increased microbial physiological stress. However, the PLFA abundances formed "u" shaped quadratic functions with Eucalyptus plantation age. Alternatively, physiological stress biomarkers, the ratios of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid and Gram+ to Gram- bacteria, formed "n"' shaped quadratic functions, and the ratio of cy17:0 to 16:1omega7c decreased with plantation age. The activities of phenol oxidase, peroxidase, and acid phosphatase increased with Eucalyptus plantation age, while the cellobiohydrolase activity formed "u" shaped quadratic functions. Soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, soil organic carbon, and understory cover largely explained the variation in PLFA profiles while soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, and understory cover explained most of the variability in enzyme activity. In conclusion, soil microbial structure and function under Eucalyptus plantations were strongly impacted by plantation age. Most of the changes could be explained by altered soil resource availability and understory cover associated with successive planting of Eucalyptus. Our results highlight the importance of plantation age for assessing the impacts of plantation conversion as well as the importance of reducing disturbance for plantation management.

  5. Native mycorrhizal fungi replace introduced fungal species on Virginia pine and American chestnut planted on reclaimed mine sites of Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivanand Hiremath; Kirsten Lehtoma; Jenise M. Bauman

    2014-01-01

    Plant-microbe community dynamics influence the natural succession of plant species where pioneer vegetation facilitates the establishment of a distantly related, later successional plant species. This has been observed in the case of restoration of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) on abandoned mine land where Virginia pine (Pinus...

  6. Additive effects of aboveground polyphagous herbivores and soil feedback in native and range-expanding exotic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morrien, W.E.; Engelkes, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2011-01-01

    Plant biomass and plant abundance can be controlled by aboveground and belowground natural enemies. However, little is known about how the aboveground and belowground enemy effects may add up. We exposed 15 plant species to aboveground polyphagous insect herbivores and feedback effects from the soil

  7. Integrated assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent estrogenicity in the Upper Murray River, Australia, using the native Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vajda, Alan M.; Kumar, Anupama; Woods, Marianne; Williams, Mike; Doan, Hai; Tolsher, Peter; Kookana, Rai S.; Barber, Larry B.

    2016-01-01

    The contamination of major continental river systems by endocrine-active chemicals (EACs) derived from the discharge of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents can affect human and ecosystem health. As part of a long-term effort to develop a native fish model organism for assessment of endocrine disruption in Australia's largest watershed, the Murray-Darling River Basin, the present study evaluated endocrine disruption in adult males of the native Australian Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) exposed to effluent from an activated sludge WWTP and water from the Murray River during a 28-d, continuous-flow, on-site experiment. Analysis of the WWTP effluent and river water detected estrone and 17β-estradiol at concentrations up to approximately 25 ng L−1. Anti-estrogenicity of effluent samples was detected in vitro using yeast-based bioassays (yeast estrogen screen) throughout the experiment, but estrogenicity was limited to the first week of the experiment. Histological evaluation of the testes indicated significant suppression of spermatogenesis by WWTP effluent after 28 d of exposure. Plasma vitellogenin concentrations and expression of vitellogenin messenger RNA in liver were not significantly affected by exposure to WWTP effluent. The combination of low contaminant concentrations in the WWTP effluent, limited endocrine disrupting effects in the Murray rainbowfish, and high in-stream dilution factors (>99%) suggest minimal endocrine disruption impacts on native Australian fish in the Murray River downstream from the WWTP outfall. 

  8. Integrated assessment of wastewater treatment plant effluent estrogenicity in the Upper Murray River, Australia, using the native Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vajda, Alan M; Kumar, Anupama; Woods, Marianne; Williams, Mike; Doan, Hai; Tolsher, Peter; Kookana, Rai S; Barber, Larry B

    2015-05-01

    The contamination of major continental river systems by endocrine-active chemicals (EACs) derived from the discharge of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents can affect human and ecosystem health. As part of a long-term effort to develop a native fish model organism for assessment of endocrine disruption in Australia's largest watershed, the Murray-Darling River Basin, the present study evaluated endocrine disruption in adult males of the native Australian Murray rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) exposed to effluent from an activated sludge WWTP and water from the Murray River during a 28-d, continuous-flow, on-site experiment. Analysis of the WWTP effluent and river water detected estrone and 17β-estradiol at concentrations up to approximately 25 ng L(-1) . Anti-estrogenicity of effluent samples was detected in vitro using yeast-based bioassays (yeast estrogen screen) throughout the experiment, but estrogenicity was limited to the first week of the experiment. Histological evaluation of the testes indicated significant suppression of spermatogenesis by WWTP effluent after 28 d of exposure. Plasma vitellogenin concentrations and expression of vitellogenin messenger RNA in liver were not significantly affected by exposure to WWTP effluent. The combination of low contaminant concentrations in the WWTP effluent, limited endocrine disrupting effects in the Murray rainbowfish, and high in-stream dilution factors (>99%) suggest minimal endocrine disruption impacts on native Australian fish in the Murray River downstream from the WWTP outfall. © 2015 SETAC.

  9. Overexpression of the Synthetic Chimeric Native-T-phylloplanin-GFP Genes Optimized for Monocot and Dicot Plants Renders Enhanced Resistance to Blue Mold Disease in Tobacco (N. tabacum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipak K. Sahoo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To enhance the natural plant resistance and to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of phylloplanin against blue mold, we have expressed a synthetic chimeric native-phylloplanin-GFP protein fusion in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum cv. KY14, a cultivar that is highly susceptible to infection by Peronospora tabacina. The coding sequence of the tobacco phylloplanin gene along with its native signal peptide was fused with GFP at the carboxy terminus. The synthetic chimeric gene (native-phylloplanin-GFP was placed between the modified Mirabilis mosaic virus full-length transcript promoter with duplicated enhancer domains and the terminator sequence from the rbcSE9 gene. The chimeric gene, expressed in transgenic tobacco, was stably inherited in successive plant generations as shown by molecular characterization, GFP quantification, and confocal fluorescent microscopy. Transgenic plants were morphologically similar to wild-type plants and showed no deleterious effects due to transgene expression. Blue mold-sensitivity assays of tobacco lines were performed by applying P. tabacina sporangia to the upper leaf surface. Transgenic lines expressing the fused synthetic native-phyllopanin-GFP gene in the leaf apoplast showed resistance to infection. Our results demonstrate that in vivo expression of a synthetic fused native-phylloplanin-GFP gene in plants can potentially achieve natural protection against microbial plant pathogens, including P. tabacina in tobacco.

  10. Accumulation of Pb, Cu, and Zn in native plants growing on contaminated sites and their potential accumulation capacity in Heqing, Yunnan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaohai; Gao, Yuntao; Khan, Sardar; Duan, Gang; Chen, Aikui; Ling, Li; Zhao, Leil; Liu, Zhonghan; Wu, Xuecan

    2008-01-01

    Phytoremediation is one of the cost-effective and environmental friendly technologies used to remove contaminants from contaminated soils, which has been intensively studied during the last decade. Presently, few economical and effective remediation methods are available for the remediation of Pb contaminated sites. This study was conducted to assess the potential of 19 plants growing on contaminated sites in Pb mine area. Plants and associated soil samples were collected and analyzed for total metal concentrations. While total soil Pb, Cu and Zn concentrations varied from 1,239 to 4,311, 36 to 1,020 and 240 to 2,380 mg/kg, those in the plant shoots ranged from 6.3 to 2,029, 20 to 570, and 36 to 690 mg/kg, respectively. Among the plants, we found that one cultivated crop (Ricinus communis L.) and two native species (Tephrosia candida and Debregeasia orientalis) have a great potential for phytoremediation of Pb contaminated soils, the Pb hyperaccumulation capacity of the 3 plants was found as the order: R. communis > D. orientalis > T. candida in the investigated area.

  11. Accumulation of Pb,Cu,and Zn in native plants growing on contaminated sites and their potential accumulation capacity in Heqing,Yunnan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiaohai; GAO Yuntao; Sardar Khan; DUAN Gang; CHEN Aikui; LING Li; ZHAO Lei; LIU Zhonghan; WU Xuecan

    2008-01-01

    Phytoremediation is one of the cost-effective and environmental friendly technologies used to remove contaminants from contaminated soils, which has been intensively studied during the last decade. Presently, few economical and effective remediation methods are available for the remediation of Pb contaminated sites. This study was conducted to assess the potential of 19 plants growing on contaminated sites in Pb mine area. Plants and associated soil samples were collected and analyzed for total metal concentrations. While total soil Pb, Cu and Zn concentrations varied from 1,239 to 4,311, 36 to 1,020 and 240 to 2,380 mg/kg, those in the plant shoots ranged from 6.3 to 2,029, 20 to 570, and 36 to 690 mg/kg, respectively. Among the plants, we found that one cultivated crop (Ricinus communis L.) and two native species (Tephrosia candida and Debregeasia orientalis) have a great potential for phytoremediation of Pb contaminated soils, the Pb hyperaccnmulation capacity of the 3 plants was found as the order: R. communis D. orientalis T. candida in the investigated area.

  12. Field Spectroscopy in the VNIR-SWIR Region to Discriminate between Mediterranean Native Plants and Exotic-Invasive Shrubs Based on Leaf Tannin Content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Rudolf Karl Lehmann

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The invasive shrub, Acacia longifolia, native to southeastern Australia, has a negative impact on vegetation and ecosystem functioning in Portuguese dune ecosystems. In order to spectrally discriminate A. longifolia from other non-native and native species, we developed a classification model based on leaf reflectance spectra (350–2500 nm and condensed leaf tannin content. High variation of leaf tannin content is common for Mediterranean shrub and tree species, in particular between N-fixing and non-N-fixing species, as well as within the genus, Acacia. However, variation in leaf tannin content has not been studied in coastal dune ecosystems in southwest Portugal. We hypothesized that condensed tannin concentration varies significantly across species, further allowing for distinguishing invasive, nitrogen-fixing A. longifolia from other vegetation based on leaf spectral reflectance data. Spectral field measurements were carried out using an ASD FieldSpec FR spectroradiometer attached to an ASD leaf clip in order to collect 750 in situ leaf reflectance spectra of seven frequent plant species at three study sites in southwest Portugal. We applied partial least squares (PLS regression to predict the obtained leaf reflectance spectra of A. longifolia individuals to their corresponding tannin concentration. A. longifolia had the lowest tannin concentration of all investigated species. Four wavelength regions (675–710 nm, 1060–1170 nm, 1360–1450 nm and 1630–1740 nm were identified as being highly correlated with tannin concentration. A spectra-based classification model of the different plant species was calculated using a principal component analysis-linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA. The best prediction of A. longifolia was achieved by using wavelength regions between 1360–1450 nm and 1630–1740 nm, resulting in a user’s accuracy of 98.9%. In comparison, selecting the entire wavelength range, the best user accuracy only reached 86

  13. A Case Study of Native Plants at Industrially Contaminated Area in Bhopal and Their Tissue Culture Approach for Phytoremediation

    OpenAIRE

    Ashwini A Waoo; Sujata Ganguly; Swati Khare

    2014-01-01

    In phytoremediation techniques,experiments were done with normal soil-grown or hydroponically grown plants. In recent days, more and more effort is directed toward research to understand and improve the performance of plants in remediation technologies, the number of results obtained with the help of in vitro plant cell and tissue cultures is rapidly increasing.This review focuses on the report of various phytoremediation technologies, paying special attention to removal of pollutants from so...

  14. Soil-to-plant transfer of native selenium for wild vegetation cover at selected locations of the Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Száková, Jiřina; Tremlová, Jana; Pegová, Kristýna; Najmanová, Jana; Tlustoš, Pavel

    2015-06-01

    Total selenium (Se) contents were determined in aboveground biomass of wild plant species growing in two uncultivated meadows at two different locations. The soils in these locations had pseudototal (Aqua Regia soluble) Se in concentration ranges of between 0.2 and 0.3 mg kg(-1) at the first location, and between 0.7 and 1.4 mg kg(-1) at the second location. The plant species represented 29 plant families where the most numerous ones were Poaceae, Rosaceae, Fabaceae , and Asteraceae. The selenium contents in the plants varied between undetectable levels (Aegopodium podagraria, Achillea millefolium, Lotus corniculatus) and 0.158 mg kg(-1) (Veronica arvensis, Veronicaceae). The Se levels were roughly one order of magnitude lower compared to other elements with similar soil content, such as cadmium and molybdenum. The transfer factors of Se, quantifying the element transfer from soil to plants, varied between <0.001 and 0.146 with no significant differences between the locations, confirming the limited soil-plant selenium transfer regardless of location, soil Se level, and plant species. Among the plant families, no unambiguous trend to potential elevated Se uptake was observed. Low Se content in the soil and its plant availability was comparable to other Se-deficient areas within Europe.

  15. Soil and plant changing after invasion: the case of Acacia dealbata in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Giuliani, Claudia; Fabiani, Arturo; Agnelli, Alessandro Elio; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Benesperi, Renato; Calamassi, Roberto; Foggi, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    Acacia dealbata Link (Fabaceae) is one of the most invasive species in the Mediterranean ecosystems of Europe, Africa and America, where it has been proved to exert strong effects on soil and plant communities. In Italy A. dealbata has been largely used for ornamental and forestry purpose and is nowadays spreading in several areas. The present study was addressed to evaluate the impacts on soil chemical properties, soil microbial communities and understory plant communities and to assess the relationships among these compartments after the invasion of A. dealbata in a typical Mediterranean shrubland. Towards these aims, a soil and vegetation sampling was performed in Elba Island where A. dealbata is invading the sclerophyllous native vegetation. Three levels of invasion status were differentiated according to the gradient from invaded, to transitional and non-invaded vegetation. Quantitative and qualitative alterations of soil chemical properties and microbial communities (i.e. bacterial and fungal communities) and above-ground understory plant communities were found. In particular, the invaded soils had lower pH values than both the non-invaded and transitional ones. High differences were detected for both the total N and the inorganic fraction (NH4(+) and NO3(-)) contents, which showed the ranking: invaded>transitional>non-invaded soils. TOC and C/N ratio showed respectively higher and lower values in invaded than in non-invaded soils. Total plant covers, species richness and diversity in both the non-invaded and transitional subplots were higher than those in the invaded ones. The contribution of the nitrophilous species was significantly different among the three invasion statuses, with a strong increase going from native to transitional and invaded subplots. All these data confirm that A. dealbata modifies several compartments of the invaded ecosystems, from soil chemical properties to soil and plant microbial communities determining strong changes in the

  16. Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, B.M.C.; Gross, E.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate aquat

  17. Behavior of native species Arrhenatherum elatius (Poaceae) and Sonchus transcaspicus (Asteraceae) exposed to a heavy metal-polluted field: plant metal concentration, phytotoxicity, and detoxification responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan; Li, Xinrong; He, Mingzhu; Zeng, Fanjiang

    2013-01-01

    The application of vegetation cover for the phytomanagement of heavy metal-polluted soils needs prior investigation on the suitability of plant species. In this study, behaviors of Arrhenatherum elatius and Sonchus transcaspicus, two native perennial grasses that currently grow in a mine tailing, were investigated through plant metal concentration, phytotoxicity and their detoxification responses. Both of the species accumulated Ni, Cu, Cd, Co, Mn, Pb, Cr, and Zn in shoots far below criterion concentration as a hyperaccumulators; thus, neither of them were found to be hyperaccumulators. A. elatius accumulated metals in roots and then in shoots, on the contrary, in S. transcaspicus metals were preferentially accumulated in shoots. Plants exposure to such metals resulted in oxidative stress in the considered organs as indicated by the changes in chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll contents, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and antioxidative enzyme activities. A. elatius seemed to be more affected by metal-induced oxidative stress than S. transcaspicus. Correspondingly, S. transcaspicus showed a greater capacity to adapt to metal-induced oxidative stress, depending on more effective antioxidative defense mechanisms to protect itself from oxidative damage. These findings allowed us to conclude that both of these plant species could be suitable for the phytostabilization of metal-polluted soils.

  18. From endogenous to exogenous pattern formation: Invasive plant species changes the spatial distribution of a native ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kevin; He, Yifan; Campbell, Susanna K; Colborn, A Shawn; Jackson, Eliot L; Martin, Austin; Monagan, Ivan V; Ong, Theresa Wei Ying; Perfecto, Ivette

    2017-06-01

    Invasive species are a significant threat to global biodiversity, but our understanding of how invasive species impact native communities across space and time remains limited. Based on observations in an old field in Southeast Michigan spanning 35 years, our study documents significant impacts of habitat change, likely driven by the invasion of the shrub, Elaeagnus umbellata, on the nest distribution patterns and population demographics of a native ant species, Formica obscuripes. Landcover change in aerial photographs indicates that E. umbellata expanded aggressively, transforming a large proportion of the original open field into dense shrubland. By comparing the ant's landcover preferences before and after the invasion, we demonstrate that this species experienced a significant unfavorable change in its foraging areas. We also find that shrub landcover significantly moderates aggression between nests, suggesting nests are more related where there is more E. umbellata. This may represent a shift in reproductive strategy from queen flights, reported in the past, to asexual nest budding. Our results suggest that E. umbellata may affect the spatial distribution of F. obscuripes by shifting the drivers of nest pattern formation from an endogenous process (queen flights), which led to a uniform pattern, to a process that is both endogenous (nest budding) and exogenous (loss of preferred habitat), resulting in a significantly different clustered pattern. The number and sizes of F. obscuripes nests in our study site are projected to decrease in the next 40 years, although further study of this population's colony structures is needed to understand the extent of this decrease. Elaeagnus umbellata is a common invasive shrub, and similar impacts on native species might occur in its invasive range, or in areas with similar shrub invasions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Foliar application of TXCs on understory species of mesic forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitford, P.B.

    1968-01-01

    Foliar application to the understory in a Liriodendron forest of 35 Ci/mS of TXCs diluted in 11/mS water showed 18% retention of the isotope on foliage after 2 hr, 9, 8 and 7% after 2, 4, and 6 weeks; the major part of the applied solution dripped onto the litter layer. Approximately 22 cm of rain during the test period accounted for most of the reduction in isotope in the foliage, as well as for transfer through the litter to the top 5 cm of soil (23% of application) by the end of the sixth week. Less than 4% was absorbed and translocated to stem and roots. Differences, between species are probably related to leaf surface structure, mass/area ratio, and leaf orientation. 6 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  20. Understory succession in post-agricultural oak plantations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunet, Jörg; Valtinat, Karin; Mayr, Marian Lajos

    2011-01-01

    -agricultural plantation forests. We studied effects of stand age, forest fragmentation, and soil and canopy conditions on species richness and abundance of four species groups in the understory of post-arable oak plantations in southern Sweden: herbaceous forest specialists, habitat generalists and open land species......, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented plantations, but many forest species were sensitive to habitat fragmentation. Open-land species richness decreased during succession, while the richness of woody...... species and of generalists remained stable, and were not affected by fragmentation. Abundance of generalists gradually decreased in non-fragmented plantations, probably due to competition from colonizing forest specialists. Soil pH in post-arable stands remained consistently higher than in continuously...

  1. The interaction of heavy metals and nutrients present in soil and native plants with arbuscular mycorrhizae on the riverside in the Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin (Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Rodolfo E; García, Ileana V; de Cabo, Laura; Weigandt, Cristian F; Fabrizio de Iorio, Alicia

    2015-02-01

    This study assessed the contamination by heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Pb, Zn), and nutrients (N, P) in soils and native plants, and the effect of the concentration of those elements with the density of arbuscular-mycorrhizal (AM) spores in soil and colonization in roots from the riverside of the Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin (MRRB). The concentration of metals and nutrients in soils and plants (Eleocharis montana, Cyperus eragrostis, Hydrocotyle bonariensis) increased from the upper sites (8 km from headwaters) to the lower sites (6 km from the mouth of the Riachuelo River) of the basin. AM-colonization on the roots of H. bonariensis and spore density in soil decreased as the concentrations of metals in soil and plant tissues increased from the upper to lower sites of the basin within a consistent gradient of contamination associated with land use, soil disturbance, population, and chemicals discharged into the streams and rivers along the MRRB. The general trends for all metals in plant tissue were to have highest concentrations in roots, then in rhizomes and lowest in aerial biomass. The translocation (TF) and bioconcentration (BCF) factors decreased in plants which grow from the upper sites to the lower sites of the basin. The plants tolerated a wide range in type and quantity of contamination along the basin by concentrating more metals and nutrients in roots than in aboveground tissue. The AM spore density in soil and colonization in roots of H. bonariensis decreased with the increase of the degree of contamination (Dc) in soil. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Vegetation composition and ²²⁶Ra uptake by native plant species at a uranium mill tailings impoundment in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Nan; Ding, Dexin; Li, Guangyue; Zheng, Jifang; Li, Le; Zhao, Weichao; Wang, Yongdong

    2014-03-01

    A field investigation was conducted for the vegetation composition and (226)Ra uptake by native plant species at a uranium mill tailings impoundment in South China. 80 species belonging to 67 genera in 32 families were recorded in the sampling sites. The Poaceae and Asteraceae were the dominant families colonizing the impoundment. The number of the plant species and vegetation community composition in the sampling sites seemed most closely related to the activities of (226)Ra and the pH value of the uranium tailings. The plant species in the sampling sites with relatively low activities of (226)Ra and relatively high pH value formed a relatively stable vegetation community. The plant species in the sampling sites with medium activities of (226)Ra and medium pH value formed the transitional vegetation community. The plant species in the sampling sites with relatively high activities of (226)Ra and relatively low pH value formed a simple unstable vegetation community that was similar to that on the unused grassland. The activities of (226)Ra and transfer factors (TFs) varied greatly with the plant species. The high activities of (226)Ra and TFs were found in the leaves of Pteris multifida (150.6 Bq/g of AW; 9.131), Pteridium aquilinum (122.2 Bq/g of AW; 7.409), and Dryopteris scottii (105.7 Bq/g of AW; 6.408). They satisfied the criteria for a hyperaccumulator for (226)Ra. They may be the candidates for phytoremediation of (226)Ra in the uranium mill tailings impoundment areas and the contaminated soils around.

  3. Tropical forest fragmentation limits pollination of a keystone understory herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadley, Adam S; Frey, Sarah J K; Robinson, W Douglas; Kress, W John; Betts, Matthew G

    2014-08-01

    Loss of native vegetation cover is thought to be a major driver of declines in pollination success worldwide. However, it is not well known whether reducing the fragmentation of remaining vegetation can ameliorate these negative effects. We tested the independent effects of composition vs. configuration on the reproductive success of a keystone tropical forest herb (Heliconia tortuosa). To do this we designed a large-scale mensurative experiment that independently varied connected forest-patch size (configuration) and surrounding amount of forest (composition). In each patch, we tested whether pollen tubes, fruit, and seed set were associated with these landscape variables. We also captured hummingbirds as an indication of pollinator availability in a subset of patches according to the same design. We found evidence for an effect of configuration on seed set of H. tortuosa, but not on other aspects of plant reproduction; proportion of seeds produced increased 40% across the gradient in patch size we observed (0.64 to > 1300 ha), independent of the amount of forest in the surrounding landscape at both local and landscape scales. We also found that the availability of pollinators was dependent upon forest configuration; hummingbird capture rates increased three and one-half times across the patch size gradient, independent of forest amount. Finally, pollinator availability was strongly positively correlated with seed set. We hypothesize that the effects of configuration on plant fitness that we observed are due to reduced pollen quality resulting from altered hummingbird availability and/or movement behavior. Our results suggest that prioritizing larger patches of tropical forest may be particularly important for conservation of this species.

  4. Non-native plant species sampling at Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge : A prototype study for other refuges [Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report describes the results and implications of a rapid assessment of nonnative plant invasions at the Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. This effort was a...

  5. Comparison of Plant Diversity and Stand Characteristics in Alnus subcordata C.A.Mey and Taxodium distichum (L. L.C. Rich

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Tabari

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Stand characteristics and understory plant diversity were investigated in low-drained man-made stands of Alnus subcordata C.A.Mey and Taxodium distichum (L L.C. Rich. The trees were planted with distances of 3 × 3 m and 4 × 4 m in northern Iran. In these stands, herbaceous and woody species were counted in plots of 20 × 20 m. Then, indexes of richness, H/ diversity, J/ equitability and Jaccard similarity (JI, tree growths, cover crown percentage, and litter layer thickness of each stand were assessed following 17 years after planting. The results revealed that the greatest diameter at breast height (D.B.H and stem height were observed in Alnus 4 × 4 m. By contrast, crown cover percentage and litter thicknesses were greater in Taxodium stands. Species richness, H/ diversity and J/ equitability indexes, Jaccard similarity (JI of Alnus stands were greater than those of Taxodium stands. In reality, small and light canopy of Alnus is the main reason that the solar radiation can penetrate easily to forest ground and affect understor